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Question Video: Identifying the Positive Terminal of the Circuit Symbol for a Cell Science

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

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Video Transcript

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

Here, we’re given a diagram of a cell from an electric circuit and we’ve been asked which line, the shorter or longer one, represents the positive terminal of the cell.

To answer this, let’s recall that conventional electric current always points away from the longer line and toward the shorter line of the cell. We should also 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.

Now, we can clearly see that conventional current points away from the positive terminal, which is represented by the longer line. Therefore, it’s the longer line that represents the positive terminal of the cell.

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