Question Video: Identifying the Negative Terminal of the Circuit Symbol for a Cell | Nagwa Question Video: Identifying the Negative Terminal of the Circuit Symbol for a Cell | Nagwa

Question Video: Identifying the Negative Terminal of the Circuit Symbol for a Cell Science • Third Year of Preparatory School

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The picture shows the circuit symbol for a cell. Which line represents the negative terminal of the cell?

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Video Transcript

The picture shows the circuit symbol for a cell. Which line represents the negative terminal of the cell?

Here, we have a diagram of a cell from an electric circuit. And we want to know which line, the shorter or longer one, represents the negative terminal of the cell.

Let’s recall that conventional electric current always points away from the longer line and toward the shorter line of the cell. We can show this on the diagram. Also, we should remember that conventional current was defined under the assumption that current is the flow of positive charge carriers. Because of this, conventional electric current points away from the positive terminal and toward the negative terminal.

Since conventional current points away from the longer line, we know that the longer line represents the positive terminal. And so, the shorter line represents the negative terminal. Therefore, the shorter line represents the negative terminal of the cell.

As a side note, we reach the same conclusion if we think about the direction of electron flow rather than conventional current. Recall that electrons flow in the opposite direction of conventional current. So we can show electron movement in pink, pointing in the opposite direction of the conventional current that we showed in orange. Because electrons are negatively charged, they move away from the negative terminal, which, as we know, is represented by the shorter line.

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