Atlearner-
April 19, 2023

March 16, 2023

If you are a little bit confused by the definition, then let's look at the hydraulic or heat analogy to understand it better -

The difference in water level makes water pressure for which the water flows from one tank to other. If we continue these analogies we see the current is similar to water flow, where water pressure indicates the voltage or electrical potential difference.

Here the temperature difference makes the heat flow from the hotter object to the cooler one. If we continue these analogies we see the current is similar to heat flow, where the temperature difference between the objects indicates the voltage or electrical potential difference.

Similarly, if two charged objects have a potential difference and are connected by a conductor, a positive charge flows from the higher potential object to the lower one. This flow of positive charge through any cross-section of a conductor per second is called **electric current**.

Sometimes there is a lot of confusion surrounding conventional current flow and electron flow. So let's clear this confusion first. According to the conventional current flow current always flows from the positive to the negative terminal of the source in a circuit and indicates the direction in which positive charges would flow.

Where the electron flow is from the negative to the positive terminal of the source in a circuit. Electrons are negatively charged and are therefore attracted to the positive terminal like opposite charges attract each other.

If we symbolized electric current as *I*, electric charge as *Q*, and time as *t*, then the electric current

Current is a **scaler quantity**, but it has a magnitude and a direction. So, why current is a scalar, not a vector quantity, despite its direction?

The thing is a vector always obeys the law of addition of vectors. Since current doesn't obey it and it follows algebraic addition, that is why current is a scalar, not a vector.

Depending on how the current flows, there are two types of electric current - alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC).

There are three important effects we can see when current passes through a conductor - The Heating Effect, the Magnetic Effect, and the Chemical Effect of Electric Current.

When electricity passes through a conductor, heat is generated in the conductor. This is known as the heating effect of electric current.

This heating effect can be determined by using the following equation -

Where *H* indicates the amount of heat. *I *show the amount of electrical current supplied. *R* is the amount of electric resistance exerted by the conductor. *t* denotes the time for which the appliance is operated.

When electricity passes through a conductor, a magnetic field is built up around the conductor. This is known as the magnetic effect of electric current.

We can easily observe this when we place a compass close to a wire carrying a reasonably large direct current, and the compass needle deflects.

When an electric current flows through a conductive solution, it causes a chemical reaction. This is called the chemical effect of electric current.

As a result of the chemical effects of the electric current – gas bubbles may form at the electrodes, metal deposits may appear on the electrodes, and the color of the solution may change. Read more...

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