Last modified on July 19, 2007, at 13:03

Conventional current

Current that flows from the positive side of the battery to the negative side. This is the way current is drawn in circuit diagrams, even though it is wrong.[1]

It is a nuisance that electrons, the fundamental particles of electricity are considered to have a negative charge, and that conventional current flows the wrong way. It is the result of a mistake by Benjamin Franklin. It is he that used the + and - signs in connection with electric charge. He decided which way to assign them by looking at sparks; he thought he could tell which direction they were jumping in. Unfortunately, he was mistaken.


  1. Wile, Dr. Jay L. Exploring Creation With Physical Science. Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. 1999, 2000