A more elaborate question " With my previous knowledge I am aware that a wire possesses a sea of electrons ( free electrons) and the flow of those electrons is called current . The energy to flow is given by the battery converting chemical to electrical energy " But after seeing this video, it rather shows battery as a more of a source of electrons flowing from the negative to the positive terminal .

My view : After chemical reaction in the battery it produces electrons , those electrons flow through the wire repelling other free electrons present in the conductor(wire) forming a chain of electrons repelling and flowing through the positive terminal . *This energy or electrical energy is provided by the electrons formed during the chemical reaction at the negative terminal which repel other electrons in the wire being the driving force and source of the electrons

Is this the correct theory for how a circuit with a battery works? If not , would be helpful if you could correct me.


2 Answers 2


The net effect of a battery is that an electro-chemical reaction moves electrons inside the battery from the positive terminal to the negative terminal and if there is a complete circuit outside the battery then electrons move from the negative terminal via the external circuit to the positive terminal.
You can think of a battery as a pump with an input of chemical energy to make it work moving a fluid (electrons) from the positive terminal to the negative terminal.

There is no net generation of electrons.


Is battery a source of electrons OR a driving force?

In a way, both.

Before a battery is connected to an external circuit, there is a surplus of negative charge on its negative electrode (anode) due to the production of electrons by oxidation, and an deficit of negative charge on its positive electrode (cathode) due to reduction. This creates a potential difference (voltage) between the electrodes due to the conversion of chemical potential energy to electrical potential energy. Associated with the potential difference between the terminals is an electric field.

When the battery is connected to an external circuit, the electric field $E$ exerts a force on the free electron charge $Q$ in the circuit of $F=QE$, which does work to move free electrons in the connected circuit. To maintain the current in the circuit, the battery does work to remove free electrons from the circuit at the positive terminal by reduction and supply an equal amount of free electrons to the circuit at the negative terminal by oxidation. Overall, however, the battery does not add electrons.

Hope this helps.


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