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What actually is current and resistance?

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

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  1. tbenner


    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?


  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    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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