# + and _ not so?

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KC9IUX, May 20, 2008.

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1. ### KC9IUXHam MemberQRZ Page

I was told by a bud who is an engineer that + and - are mislabeled.

He told me that a positive charge has an electron deficit and vice versa.

Is this true?

2. ### EI8DRBHam MemberQRZ Page

Yes. However, in the case of such things are batteries and power supplies, I relate the + and - to the potential difference rather than the actual charge. It makes sense this way

4. ### KC9IUXHam MemberQRZ Page

Thanks. That helps a great deal.

5. ### K2XCGuest

Sure the side that has less electrons has a more positive potential than negative. I was trained that current travels negative to positive in all electronics courses. That has worked fine for me troubleshooting circuits and building them. Itâ€™s just a way to teach electronic theory since we can not see it flow...

6. ### W4HAYHam MemberQRZ Page

Of course! Electrons carry a negative charge, so a deficit relative to the other terminal would result in a positive charge. Incidentally, the whole negative/positive concept was arbitrarily established way back in the early days of static electricity.

Story I got: That was Benjamin Franklins doing. He got it wrong; they didn't correct it when the error was discovered because they would have had to recall and rewrite all the books in existence at the time.

8. ### WA2ZDYGuest

This matter was very confusing to me as a beginning electrical engineering student. (Note: my degree is in photography, not EE. That should tell you something!)

In practice, electrons flow from negative to positive. In theoretical calculations, the kind EE types do, current is said to flow from positive to negative. If you think about electron flow like a hands-on technician, your math will be wrong.

9. ### AG3YGuest

Chris, remember the "left hand rule" ? ? ? Or was that the "right hand rule" ? I'M SOOOO CONFUSED !

10. ### VA2GKHam MemberQRZ Page

I was taugth about electronic and conventional flow as well.
The teacher told us to think of conventional current (from positive to negative) in a manner of a "hole flow" instead of an electron flow. Since the electron that moves from the negative to the positive leaves an empty "hole" quickly replaced by another electron, one can easily imagine the "hole" flowing in the opposite direction than the electron

It worked

For everyday normal work, I use "hole current"