Talk:567: Urgent Mission

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 03:47, 24 August 2014 by (talk)
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The explanation is backwards. Current is defined as the flow of *positive* charge, thus moving from positive to negative terminals. In most cases, the current is actually electrons, which are moving from the negative terminals to the positive. 16:48, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Hopefully fixed. This was hard to write clearly. 01:43, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

I might be completely mistaken but I've thought that the reason why the positive and negative terminals are assigned as they are originated from observing the electric current passing through the solutions of salt. In the said solutions the current consists of the positively charged ions that get deposited onto the negative electrode, while the positive electrode slowly dissolves. This naturally makes one think that the electric current carries the charged particles from the positive to the negative electrode. Of course it might be that I've completely forgotten what I've been taught in school and gotten everything wrong. 01:50, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

In a circuit, it is the electrons, or the negative charges, that are actually travelling. The positive charges, the nuclei of the material carrying the current, remain fixed. This is opposite to the definition of current, which is defined as the flow of positive charge. In other words, the particles that we define as flowing in a current are not the ones that actually move. Confusing, right? I think what you may be referring to is when a salt solution undergoes electrolysis, the anions (negatively charged part of the salt) travel to the anode (positively charged electrode), and the cations (positively charged particles) travel to the cathode (negatively charged electrode). 06:03, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Ben Franklin just decided to call two opposing charges positive and negative. Blame the guy who decided electrons should be considered negative and protons should be considered positive. 03:28, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Up until Franklin's experiments with electricity, there was debate as to whether electricity came in two forms, vitreous, as in a glass rod rubbed with silk, and resinous, which other experiments before him was shown to be the one in the rubber rubbed with fur (or amber rubbed with fur, hence the name). Franklin felt there was a single "fluid" which flowed to produce an electric current. He felt that when an object such as the glass rod had an excess of this fluid, it was "positive", and when there was a deficiency of this fluid, the object was "negative". Current flow was the flow of a region of excess "fluid" to a region deficient in it. Unfortunately what actually flowed was electrons and the glass rod form contained excess electrons, not a deficiency of the positively charged fluid. Therefore, HE was the one who started the convention of calling electrons positive. 03:47, 24 August 2014 (UTC)