Another electrical question - SailNet Community
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Another electrical question

This is really basic but bugging me. I am trying to learn about electrical circuits, systems, etc. I am pretty impaired in this and starting from scratch. I bought an old, basic college text on electricity. It describes basic DC circuits in terms of electrons going from the negative to positive poles (in a battery powered system). This makes sense to me since negatively charged electrons would be repelled at the negative pole. However, every text of boating electrical systems I read describes current flow in a DC system going from positive pole through the load to negative pole. I guess it does not really matter in terms of the load since it would work no matter which direction the flow is going but this is bothering me. Can someone tell me why 2 authors would describe this phenomenon differently?
wallm is offline

Old 06-29-2005
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Another electrical question

You’re correct - there are two (or more) theories, and the direction of flow doesn’t matter:

“Electron Flow Theory” states that current flows from negative to positive.
“Conventional Flow Theory” states that current flows from positive to negative.

The direction of Electron flow is from Negative potential to Positive potential. As electrons vacate their atoms, during electron flow, positively charged atoms (with Holes) result. The flow of electrons in one direction causes a flow of positive charges (holes) in the opposite direction. This flow of positive charges is known as “Conventional Current Flow”

All of the effects of Electron Flow (from Negative to Positive) are exactly the same as those that would be created by a Conventional Current flow in the opposite direction. The two conventions are essentially equivalent, and may be consistently used interchangeably - as all predicted effects will be the same.

And then there’s “Hole Theory” -vs- “Smoke Theory” debate:
http://archimedes.galilei.com/raiar/holethry.html

HTH,
Gord
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