Conventional Current vs Electric Current
Current is a main parameter in the study of electrical systems. Electric current and conventional current are two forms of current, which are very useful in relative fields. The concept of current is widely applied in fields such as electrical engineering, electronic engineering, electromagnetic theory and many other fields. It is vital to have a proper understanding in electric current and conventional current in order to excel in such fields. In this article, we are going to discuss what current is, what electric current and conventional current are, their definitions, applications, the connections between conventional current and electric current, their similarities and finally the differences between conventional current and electric current.
The electric current can be identified as the current that is caused by the flow of charges, in the direction of the charges flow. Current is defined as the rate of flow of charges through a medium. These charges are usually in the form of electrons. The SI unit for current is ampere, which is named in honor of Andre-Marie Ampere. Current is measured using ammeters. 1 Ampere is equal to 1 Coulombs per second. An electromotive force is required for a current flow. If the voltage difference between two points is zero, there can be no net current between the two points. Current also exist in forms such as surface current and eddy current. A current or any moving charge always produces a magnetic field apart from the electric field. This magnetic field is normal to the velocity of the charge and the electric field. The electric current is measured in the direction of the flow of electrons. Any electric current measured in the direction of net electron flow is a negative quantity.
Conventional current, or in other words the standard current, is measured in the opposite direction of the flow of the negative charges (i.e. electrons). If the current is measured for a flow of positive charges, the conventional current is in the same direction as the charge flow. In any place if the term of “current” is used it refers to the conventional current. Since the current measured in the same direction as the electrons is negative, the current measured in the opposite direction of the flow of electrons is positive. This means the conventional current is always positive. Conventional current is also measured in ampere.
What is the difference between Conventional and Electric Currents?
• Electric current can be either negative or positive, but conventional current is always positive.
• The conventional current for an electron flow is positive, whereas the electrical current is negative.
• For a flow of positive charges, both the electric current and the conventional current are the same.
• Since almost every electrical circuit uses an electron flow, it can be safely stated that the conventional current = – electrical current.
• In conventional current, the flow of electrons is assumed as a flow of protons on the opposite direction.