Should I use the ground?

Thread Starter


Joined Nov 22, 2011

I have a wire, Wire ABC, with current going through it. When Wire DEF comes into contact with wire ABC, I want the current to no longer run through the BC part of Wire ABC. Could I possibly run wire DEF into some sort of "ground" so that the current through wire ABC runs through DEF into the ground, and doesn't continue its path along wire ABC?

Does that work? Is my concept of ground not correct?

I'm used to "ground" being the zero-point of nodal analysis, and in that sense, my idea makes no sense.

What am I doing? should I just make the resistance of wire ABC very high and DEF very low?

Here's a picture because I don't feel that I'm being very clear:


Joined Sep 9, 2010
Here's a picture because I don't feel that I'm being very clear
True dat!

Current flows from high potential to low potential, along all paths available to it, such as resistors in parallel. Think of water flowing down a hill. If there's a difference in elevation (potential, or voltage), and a path (conductance), current will flow.


Joined Jul 1, 2008
Ohms Law will apply here as in any circuit. IE, the current will divide between the low and high resistance paths as governed by this law.


Joined Nov 22, 2011
Where does it go?

Electricity is the flow of electrons, while electronics is the control of them. We control them by wasting / burning them off. This is why almost everything electronic gets hot after it has been on for a while. I think that you could fry an egg on our Foxtel TV box sometimes.

What you have shown is called "current branching'


Joined Nov 22, 2011
When you switch the current ON, OFF, ON, OFF, ON fast enough -- the electrons radiate and leave the conductor.

You have all of these invisible quataties of electrons floating around you as we speak.


Joined Jul 17, 2007
If there is no resistance in wire ABC above where DEF connects, then you will have infinite current flow from the source to node 0. This is obviously an exception, and any proper SPICE program would abort with an error.

So, if you wish to divert current from wire ABC, you will need a resistance both above the DEF connection point, and below the connection point.

If there is no resistance between the connection point and ground/node 0 in wire ABC, then it is actually node 0, not ABC. In order for it to be considered a different node, you would need some kind of device between node 0 and the DEF connection point. Otherwise, when wire DEF was connected to wire ABC, they would all become the same node.