Circuit Electron Flow Is Online!

Category : Uncategorized · No Comments · by February 5, 2015
Circuit Electron Flow

Circuit Electron Flow Simulation


Inspired by the work of Professor Bruce Sherwood to create a new, more intuitive way to teach electrical circuits, “Circuit Electron Flow” simulates the flow of electrons through a wire caused by electric fields created by surface charges.  Four different situations are presented, in order of increasing complexity:

  1. Electron flow through a straight wire
  2. Electron flow through a wire with a 90 degree bend
  3. Electron flow through a simple circuit
  4. Electron flow through a “snaky” circuit

This simulation deviates from traditional Ohm’s Law-based circuit analysis techniques, and shows students behavior of the individual electrons in a circuit.  Students no longer are asked to merely accept that electrons flow along a wire, but rather are asked to show *why* electrons would flow along a wire rather than merely away from the negative end of a battery and toward the positive end of a battery.

The simulation is designed to be simple enough to understand by itself, while the corresponding worksheet walks students through a set of increasingly complex scenarios to build their understanding of the physics behind electron flow in a circuit.  For an introduction to the mechanics of electron flow through metal, please see our “Drude Model Conduction” simulation.


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