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Name:  Allison Williams
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1993

How does an electrical current work?

This is a nice exercise in getting kids used to using a terminal, but NEWTON is not your school library's encyclopedia. Current happens when electrons all move in one direction inside a wire.

jade hawk

Actually, there are many volumes of books on the subject. Electrical current(s) are not only transmitted by wire, but also other mediums, such as air in a device called a wave guide when dealing with UHF (Ultra High Frequency electricity) or Microwave (even higher frequency). The mechanics of electron (or hole) flow is and will continue to be a subject of considerable debate. The effect of that current is what we all know about. As I said, there are volumes and volumes of books on the subject. In short, electrical current can flow only when there is a potential (commonly referred to as voltage) between two sources, and a path to equalize the potential. This potential can be created by many sources, including chemical energy, heat energy, and just about any force that can create substances that are charged more or less positively or negatively. A battery, for example, is made of two or more chemicals or elements that are reacting to cause an electrical potential between two elements. By connecting the two elements with a conductor of some type, or a "load," electrical current will flow in an attempt to equalize the differing electrical charges. When the chemical reaction is complete, and the charges have been neutralized, no more electrical current can flow. Sometimes the simplest questions can be the most difficult to answer. Keep asking them.


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