Conventional flow or electron flow

Thread Starter


Joined Jun 18, 2019
Reading just about everything I can about electronics I would like some advice on which one to learn, conventional current or electron flow?
It seems that many later books are now using electron flow exclusively, but older works, and in fact all our circuit symbols were written for conventional current flow. For example the diode symbol has an arrow for conventional current flow which is incorrect for electron flow and makes reading the symbols counter intuitive.
Any ideas which one will be used in the future, because that's the one I'll try and learn.


Joined Mar 19, 2019
They will both continue to be used so learn to use both. I took me a while to get used to electron flow after starting out long ago with the conventional flow but now it doesn't make any difference to me at all.


Joined Mar 14, 2008
It's really arbitrary unless you are studying vacuum tubes or solid-state physics, where you need to use electron flow.

I use conventional flow for the reasons you mentioned and more.
The flow is in the direction of diode and transistor arrows, and from top to bottom in most schematics with the plus supply rail at the top of the schematic.
Also, Spice analog simulators use conventional flow for the current direction.
Both, but it's easy, one is simply the reverse of the other.
I don't find it easy to make that mental reversal when I'm looking at complex circuit operation. ;)


Joined Jul 18, 2013
Any ideas which one will be used in the future, because that's the one I'll try and learn.
When I started, just about everything was valve/tube oriented so I learned the electron version, but after a while with the advent of semiconductors etc, it was not hard to reverse the thinking.
IMO I believe that the conventional is now here to stay.
Diode/Check-valve symbol is probably a throw back to that old positive to neg theory.! ;)