Instructables
Picture of Electricity?
What is it? Wat is all this electricity nonsense?
 
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Step 1: Electrons!

Picture of Electrons!
Atoms (the stuff that makes up stuff) have a nucleus; a hard center which determines the atom's weight and properties. This nucleus is made of both positively charged protons and charge-less neutrons. Spinning around that nucleus at near the speed of light are clouds of electrons; particles with a negative charge. Normally the atoms have an identical number of electrons and protons, and because of this atoms typically have a net charge of 0. However, these electrons can be removed or added leaving the atom charged either charged positively or negatively, respectively.

Atoms don’t like to be charged however and they do their best to become neutral. Metals tend to allow their electron clouds to be modified easily, and when you add one electron to a metal atom's cloud another one jumps out into a neighboring atom's cloud. This bumps another electron out of that cloud and a chain reaction is put into place. An electric current is now formed in the conductor, and it will continue until a bumped electron hits a positively charged atom and fills the "hole" in that atom's cloud. This flow from negative to positive is called electricity.

Atom 612 months ago
Cool
Why is it that so many people think electricity flows from positive to negative?
It's all Ben Franklin's fault and his inability to determine the charge on an electron before labeling a bunch of stuff he didn't understand.
Basically BF noticed that items can have either two charges: if two objects had the same charge, they would repel each other, but if they were different, they attracted each other.

He decided that this must be the result of an imbalance of some kind of electrical fluid on the charged objects. He took an object with a positive charge and figured that it had an excess of electrical fluid, and that it was "positive" with fluid, and the opposite for negatively charged objects.

Since BF had no way of knowing that electrons are the charge-carriers, he wouldn't have been able to know that negatively charged objects are saturated with electrons.

Remember that In BF's time, electrons hadn't been discovered.

It's all arbitrary anyway, there's now way to absolutely determine a positive charge versus a negative.
because electricity flows from +5v to for example -5v.
Alot of people, like me, think of + and - like this:

positive = positive ammount of electrons in relation to protons (negative charge)

negative = negative ammount of electrons in relation to protons
(positive charge)

:)
For an answer to your question, see:

http://www.rare-earth-magnets.com/t-conventional-vs-electron-flow.aspx

That's a lot to read =( but thanks!
grenadier (author)  Jimmy Proton3 years ago
Idunno
You should stick a fork in the toaster, electricity is just a myth!
Patman273 years ago
This instructable looks extremely informative, I must say. I still need to finish reading your exhaustively in-depth article on High Voltage, but this looks like it belongs in the Instructables Hall of Fame for informative articles.
PKM3 years ago
Great guide- concise and informative. Please do a "part 2" on the difference between amps and amp-hours and make everyone read it :D

Also maybe one for newsreaders and lazy journalists on why saying "this power plant will produce enough electricity to power 4,000 homes a year" is meaningless tosh and they should learn a little bit about electricity... if only...
jensenr303 years ago
great instructable! very nice pictures and videos! the visuals were rich and the writing was very nice and easy to understand! 5 stars!