Conventional Electric Current

The electrons which are the mobile charge carriers which are responsible for electric current in conductors such as wires, it has long been the convention to take the direction of electric current as if it were the positive charges which are moving. Some texts reverse this convention and take electric current direction as the direction the electrons move, an obviously more physically realistic direction, but the vast majority of references use the conventional current direction and that convention will be followed in most of this material. In common applications such as determining the direction of force on a current carrying wire, treating current as positive charge motion or negative charge motion gives identical results. Besides the advantage of agreeing in direction with most texts, the conventional current direction is the direction from high voltage to low voltage, high energy to low energy, and thus has some appeal in its parallel to the flow of water from high pressure to low (see water analogy).

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