# electron sea

Discussion in 'Physics' started by samjesse, Mar 27, 2012.

1. ### samjesse Thread Starter Active Member

Sep 14, 2008
202
0
Hi

In a DC circuit where the Positive wire from the source to the load is metal_1 and the negative wire from the load to the source is metal_2, after a loooooong time the circuit is left ON. And in the light of current is the flow of electrons.
Wouldn't be fair to say that metal_1 electrons mix up with metal_2 electrons? if no, why not since current is flowing around the whole circuit?
and if yes. then what kind of metal will result after the mix up "of the electrons belonging to the 2 different metals" happens after that loooooong time?

thx

Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
2. ### Wendy Moderator

Mar 24, 2008
20,772
2,540
If you are talking batteries there is a chemical reaction, and the charge carrier in the electrolytic is not electrons. It is the positively charged ions moving from metal A to metal B. In many cases (not all) one of the electrodes is left severely corroded, and there are significant chemistry changes within the battery cell. This is how a battery is used up.

When electricity is discussed in a wire it is nothing but electrons, but it is important to note that there are other valid charge carriers for electricity, especially in liquids. Batteries tend to predominate in this class.

3. ### russ_hensel Distinguished Member

Jan 11, 2009
820
47
A schematic is always useful for us to know what your are talking about. Here it might be a bimetallic junction. In any case the electrons do mix up, ( but slowly, look up electron drift velocity, the electrons move slowly in normal metallic conductiors ). But physics is stranger than that all electrons are identical things, so perhaps the electrons in your eye are exchanging places with the ones in your computer screen 50 times a second. Since the particles are identical you would have no way of knowing. This actually leads to some interesting effects since the wave function of electrons is odd under particle exchange: one of these is the "exclusion" principal. I have not explained it but hope I have interested in learning more. The electron, proton, and photon ( the force mediator of e and m ) are a very interesting group, and the basis for even more exotic particle families.