Linked Questions

38
votes
5answers
23k views

If the Earth is a good conductor of electricity, why don't people get electrocuted every time they touch the Earth?

Since the Earth is a good conductor of electricity, is it safe to assume that any charge that flows down to the Earth must be redistributed into the Earth in and along all directions? Does this also ...
22
votes
3answers
17k views

How can the Hall effect ever show positive charge carriers?

The Hall effect can be used to determine the sign of the charge carriers, as a positive particle drifting along the wire and a negative particle drifting the other direction get deflected the same (as ...
17
votes
3answers
5k views

If electrons were positive and protons were negative, would life be different? [duplicate]

This was a question on a worksheet during my first week in a class on Electromagnetism. The answer is essentially: No. Life would be no different if electrons were positively charged and protons ...
12
votes
1answer
14k views

Who (and Why) started the “electrons are negative, protons are positive” convention? [duplicate]

For some reason everyone labels electrons using a minus sign and protons using a positive sign, even though the opposite seems more intuitive: Who started the convention that electrons should be "...
12
votes
6answers
10k views

What are “electron holes” in semiconductors?

I'm tutoring senior high school students. So far I've explained them the concepts of atomic structure (Bohr's model & Quantum mechanical model) very clearly. Now the next topic to be taught is ...
12
votes
4answers
31k views

Why is an electron negatively charged, and what is the difference between negative and positive charges?

Nobody has yet defined the actual meaning of a charge, or why a negative charge is different from a positive charge. Everybody knows that positive charge is due to protons and negative charge is due ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

More about the right hand rule?

We started learning about electromagnetism in physics class, and the Right Hand Rule comes in handy as seems easy to use, but I'm curious as to how it actually works. I guess it's more of a math ...
4
votes
1answer
411 views

What proved Conventional sense wrong?

What fact proved for the first time that the conventional sense of current was wrong? And when it did happen? As a corollary of this question, why do we say that electrons have negative charge? Is it ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Potential energy sign conventions

Almost every book on physics that I read have some weird and non-clear explanations regarding the potential energy. Ok, I do understand that if we integrate a force over some path, we'll get a ...
3
votes
2answers
9k views

Why are electrons defined to have negative charge? [duplicate]

We normally think of the "default" or "root" state of things as being on the positive side of the spectrum. For example, we don't normally use a + symbol to ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

What would have happened if electron was considered positive?

We always keep on telling that current flows opposite to electron, since electron is negatively charged. And old people didn't knew, that it is electron which actually flows.. So, now if we correct ...
2
votes
3answers
27k views

Direction of current and direction of flow of electrons

My textbook says that the flow of current is from the positive to negative and my notebook say that the flow of electrons is from negative to positive. Why aren't they agreeing on one direction? Who ...
2
votes
4answers
14k views

What is the difference between conventional current and electronic current?

what is the difference between conventional current and electronic current? How are they linked to one another?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Positive test charge

Protons have positive charge on them. Protons aren't mobile. So how can a positive test charge move from the negative terminal of a cell to the positive terminal and gain electric potential energy? ...
2
votes
2answers
364 views

How can “…electrons flow in metals, but not in the ground…” explain grounding rods?

I really enjoyed Why is the charge naming convention wrong? But, in the comments at the very end, the statement that "...electrons flow in metals, but not in the ground..." left me uneasy. I was ...

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