How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works
 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
 
Question 236

How can we talk about positive particles flowing through wires when it is really negatively charged electrons?
The fiction of current being carried by positive charges really does work nicely. If a wire is carrying negatively charged electrons to the east, then the east end of the wire is becoming more and more negative and the west end is becoming more and more positive. The same would happen if that wire were carrying positively charged particles to the west. Even though these positively charged particles aren't really there, we can pretend that they are. By pretending that current is carried by positive particles, we don't have to worry about the arrival of a positive number of negatively charged electrons lowering the voltage of an object.
         

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