# Electron

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Is electricity formed when one or more electrons of an atom is/are moved?

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Electricity is a flow of electrons between areas of differing electrical potential, basically (like the plus and minus on a battery).

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It must be due to a potential difference, as JaKiri said. But there will always be random thermal motion of electrons, so simply having an electron moving is not sufficient to call it current.

A single electron represents a really, really small amount of current. A Coulomb is 1.6 x 1019 charges, and an Amp is 1 Coulomb/second. So even a nanoamp requires the flow of more than ten billion electrons past any given point.

Add to this the fact that one electron in motion means that you would only have current near the electron, and not in other parts of the circuit. So it may be true for a small region of conductor that one electron moving due to a potential difference is current, but I'd say it's not generally true.

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A single electron moving can't really be considered electricity, as there isn't really any current flow to speak of. You need a bunch of electrons moving to get an electric current.

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Current is the flow of charge. Just one electron moving throughout a conductor is a flow of charge, so it would be classed as 'electricity'.

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Only if it is moving across a potential gradient.

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I think one electron bring more electricity than two electrons

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• 4 months later...

True, there must be a net movement of electrons for the current to flow. Random thermal motion of the electrons cannot be considered current, since the probability of electrons traveling to the left is roughly the same as that travelling to the right.

And the net movement of electrons must be due to any applied potential difference, so that there will be a net movement of the electrons in the direction opposite to the electric field.

However, if there is a high temperature at one end, and a low temperature on the other end of a conductor, there will be a net current flow. The termal energy seems to be causing the current. Why is that? Anyway, this effect is what is known as the thermocouple effect.

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However, if there is a high temperature at one end, and a low temperature on the other end of a conductor, there will be a net current flow. The termal energy seems to be causing the current. Why is that? Anyway, this effect is what is known as the thermocouple effect.

Actually what you are describing is the Thompson voltage. Thermocouples use the Seebeck effect, which is a combination of the Thompson effect and the Peltier effect.

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• 1 month later...

simple idea not mentioned

how would u get one electron to flow all by itself?

would it not require another taking its place?

if one elctron were to enter a region in space, it has a tendency to leave space for another to follow suit until equilibrium is achieved.

potential gradient is what prevents equilibrium and keeps the flow going

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Besides, one electron movement is too diffecult to measure...and not worth it.

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Well, maybe in the future they'll have some kind of micro-electronic thing that only requires one electron for power. That would be pretty neat.

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i doubt it could ever happen due to the small charge of a single electron, not saying its impossible, but how the heck can you get power from a charge THAT small?

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I understood that eletricity is undefinable, is it flow of charge, is it PD, stored charge, a flow of energy??? Hence we can not describe how it behaves.

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an electrical current is a flow of charge or flow of electrons (same thing)

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• 4 weeks later...
an electrical current is a flow of charge or flow of electrons (same thing)

A stream of Beta radiation would fit that description. Would that be considered electricity?

How about a stream of alpha particles? That would also be a flow of charge although obviously not electrons.

If the streams above were deflected what differences would there be in the resulting Electromagnetic radiations?

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