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What actually is current and resistance?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by tbenner, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. tbenner

    tbenner

    1
    0
    Sep 27, 2012
    I'm reviewing electronics and am on simple DC circuits at the moment. I know current is the flow of electrons, but what happens to electrons as they move through a wire? Electrons are attracted to the positive terminal of the battery or power supply, but does the electron re-combine with other atoms in the valence orbit as it moves along and then gets knocked out again, or does the electron stay a 'free' electron?
    And how does a resistor work? Does it reduce the potential difference field that the electrons feel, so fewer electrons flow? What does a resistor actually do at the atomic level, to reduce current flow?

    Thanks

    [Tim]
     
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    2,695
    Jan 21, 2010
    Electrons move very slowly.

    Imagine the pipe full of billiard balls. As you push one in one end, another pops out of the other -- that is current. It moves very quickly, but the electrons (the billiard balls) move very slowly.
     
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