# Negative Currents and direction???

Discussion in 'Homework Help' started by hunterage2000, May 13, 2010.

1. ### hunterage2000 Thread Starter Senior Member

May 2, 2010
470
1
When I think Im making progress I fall upon another problem I dont understand. I really would like to know why the currents through R1 and R2 are negatige and R3 is positive. Without the ground the numbers add up and I dont really understand what ground is for! Can someone shed some light on the subject please

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2. ### beenthere Retired Moderator

Apr 20, 2004
15,815
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Look at voltage drops across the individual resistors to see the direction of the currents.

3. ### hunterage2000 Thread Starter Senior Member

May 2, 2010
470
1
Not sure what you mean Ive got V1 = 24 V2 = 4 V3 = 4 Where does the direction come from because I thought it flowed like it does in the pic here.

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4. ### beenthere Retired Moderator

Apr 20, 2004
15,815
293
It probably does. You have the polarity of the voltage source as a guide for that. Measuring current is a relative process, but it's hard to see how one resistor could have a current backwards to the others.

5. ### Ghar Active Member

Mar 8, 2010
655
73
The directions you drew are correct.

A negative sign just means the calculation assumed a different direction. In this case the numbers are not consistent, because like I said your drawing is correct.

How did you get those numbers exactly?

The numbers are valid if you defined the currents in a specific way.

6. ### sgardner025 Well-Known Member

Nov 5, 2009
79
4
Yeah you have to pay attention to how the ammeter is connected in the program.

7. ### someonesdad Senior Member

Jul 7, 2009
1,585
142
Sum the currents into the top node. Is there a problem? (Think conservation of charge.)

8. ### hunterage2000 Thread Starter Senior Member

May 2, 2010
470
1
Yeah Ghar, I used LT Spice to draw the circuit and those are the values it gave. But on paper all calculations were positive?? Thats why I was wondering why 2 of the values are neg and 1 pos.

9. ### Ghar Active Member

Mar 8, 2010
655
73
I think LT Spice lets you pick which direction you choose as positive, there's a little arrow that shows up when you go to click on the element.