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Thread: Electric Theory

  1. #1
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    Electric Theory

    Why does electricity go back to its source?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaymiller View Post
    Why does electricity go back to its source?
    Because you closed the switch!

  3. #3
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    Well their have been and will continue to be many books written on the subject. Some disagreeing with the other,
    In short I'll say, The same reason a Salmon returns to where it was born to lay its eggs or to spawn.
    It's a form of nature,
    Like the node in a human heart that creates an electrical pulse.

    Don't ask an atom any thing, as it starts every thing.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaymiller View Post
    Why does electricity go back to its source?
    To the extent that an electric current is the result of moving electrical charges, those charges or their equivalent quantity of charge must return to the source to avoid a buildup of charge which would cause a voltage offset. That voltage offset would eventually be enough to stop current from flowing by opposing the force that is making them move in the first place.
    This is one of the weaknesses of the water analogy for electricity, in that people do not tend to immediately realize that water eventually returns to its source too, via evaporation, rainfall, and a host of other background processes.

  5. #5
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    First law of thermodynamics:
    Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, just moved around (paraphrased of course).

    It has to come from somewhere, so eventually is has to go back there.
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    Many people are shocked when they discover I am not a good electrician...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaymiller View Post
    Why does electricity go back to its source?
    Good question.

    I'm just a peon, it's above my pay grade.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jraef View Post
    First law of thermodynamics:
    Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, just moved around (paraphrased of course).

    It has to come from somewhere, so eventually is has to go back there.
    Nicely stated.

    Back in the day, The Firesign Theater had a concept: Fudd's First Law of Opposition. Loosely stated, "What ever comes out, must go in."
    Another Al in Minnesota

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaymiller View Post
    Why does electricity go back to its source?
    Because continuous electricity must flow in a circuit, like race cars circulate on a closed-loop race track, unlike static electricity, which is more like a dragster on a linear track.

    Also, don't be confused by electricity "wanting" to go to ground; it only does so because we arbitrarily choose to ground one circuit conductor.
    Code references based on 2005 NEC
    Larry B. Fine
    Master Electrician
    Electrical Contractor
    Richmond, VA

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by al hildenbrand View Post
    Nicely stated.

    Back in the day, The Firesign Theater had a concept: Fudd's First Law of Opposition. Loosely stated, "What ever comes out, must go in."
    Interesting!
    But how would that explain light energy. You shoot a LASER BEAM into space and it doesn't come back does it?
    Perhaps in the form of Bud LIght ?

  10. #10
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    Electricity is the movement of electrons.

    Imagine a lake and a pump in that lake. The intake pipe is at one end of the lake and the output pipe is at the other. As the pump runs, water piles up on one side of the lake while a trough is created at the other. What happens? The water around the trough starts moving toward it to fill it in. As it moves it makes a smaller trough that other water fills in and so on. The lake water will flow from the high side to the low side until the lake is level again. Note that it's the nearby water atoms that are actually returning to the intake pipe (source), not the ones that were pumped to the far side of the lake. If you run the pump long enough they too may make it back, but not necessarily. They may just swirl around.

    The same is true for electrons. Electrons will flow back to the source, but not necessarily the same electrons. In a network of sources and loads (like the power grid) an individual electron could start at one source and flow back to a different source. Electrons will flow toward wherever there is a deficit of electrons until all the metal atoms have all their electrons back.

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