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1.8. Direction of Current Flow

Ben Franklin said that current flows from positive to negative. But you may have recognized by now that current is the flow of electrons, and negatively charged electrons would flow from negative to positive. This may be the only time that Ben was wrong, but his statement is still used today. By convention, whenever we analyze circuits and schematics, we think of current as flowing from positive to negative, the opposite of what is really happening.

It turns out that, in most cases, it doesn’t make any difference. So we never bother to address this anomaly, and we just live with it. No harm is done. But there is one case where there is a real difference: current flow in semiconductors.

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