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Why Does Negative Charge Flow Through A Closed Circuit?

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When we talk about the flow of charge in a closed circuit, we usually refer to the flow of electrons. Electrons are negatively charged particles, and they move from the negative terminal of a voltage source (like a battery) to the positive terminal. This movement of electrons constitutes an electric current.

The convention of current flow is established based on historical interpretations. In reality, electrons carry the negative charge and move from the negative to the positive terminal. However, when the concept of electric current was first introduced, the prevailing assumption was that positive charges (which are actually found in protons) were the carriers of current. This was known as conventional current flow.

So, even though electrons are the ones physically moving through the circuit, the direction of current flow is considered opposite, from positive to negative. This convention was established before the discovery of the electron, and it’s maintained for consistency and convenience in electrical engineering and circuit analysis. It’s important to keep in mind this convention when working with circuit diagrams and analyzing electrical circuits.

Electron flow in a closed circuit, where negative charges move from the negative terminal to the positive terminal of a voltage source, is a consequence of the way electrical charges interact.

In a typical electrical circuit, electrons are the charge carriers. Electrons have a negative charge, and they repel each other due to their like charges. When a voltage source, such as a battery, is connected to a closed circuit, it creates an electric field. This electric field exerts a force on the electrons within the conductor, causing them to move.

Electrons repel each other, and since they are negatively charged, they are pushed away from the negative terminal of the voltage source and attracted towards the positive terminal. This movement of electrons constitutes an electric current. So, in practical terms, the flow of negative charge (electrons) from the negative to the positive terminal of the voltage source is what we observe as electric current in a closed circuit.

It’s important to note that the conventional notation for current flow is from positive to negative, but this is a historical convention established before the discovery of electrons. In reality, electrons move from negative to positive, and this is known as electron flow.

 
 
 

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