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By convention, direction of electric current is opposite to the movement of electrons. In a metallic conductor (wire) the positive charges are bound and do not move.

However, if they could move, as for instance in an ionised fluid or gas, then the positive chargers would move in the same direction as the arrow of the electric current.

In a battery the negative and positive charges are generated in a chemical process.

Because of the convention, the power dissipated in a load is positive if the current flow is as shown in the image (so in the load it flows from the positive end to the negative end). So the voltage drop is in the opposite direction to the current flow.

At the same time, the voltage and current have the same direction in the voltage source. But if the power (and energy) lost in the load is positive then the power (and energy) generated by the power source must be negative, to keep the total balance at zero.


You are permitted and indeed encouraged to use this image freely, for any legal purpose including commercial, and with any modifications (the permission is hereby given, so there is no need to ask for it explicitly again), but you MUST always give the following credits:

S. Zurek, Encyclopedia Magnetica, CC-BY-4.0

We would appreciate if you let us know of any use:

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file/electric_current_e-m_png.txt · Last modified: 2023/06/17 22:18 by

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