The Big Misconception About Electricity 

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The misconception is that electrons carry potential energy around a complete conducting loop, transferring their energy to the load. This video was sponsored by Caséta by Lutron. Learn more at Lutron.com/veritasium
Further analysis of the large circuit is available here: ve42.co/bigcircuit
Special thanks to Dr Geraint Lewis for bringing up this question in the first place and discussing it with us. Check out his and Dr Chris Ferrie’s new book here: ve42.co/Universe2021
Special thanks to Dr Robert Olsen for his expertise. He quite literally wrote the book on transmission lines, which you can find here: ve42.co/Olsen2018
Special thanks to Dr Richard Abbott for running a real-life experiment to test the model.
Huge thanks to all of the experts we talked to for this video -- Dr Karl Berggren, Dr Bruce Hunt, Dr Paul Stanley, Dr Joe Steinmeyer, Ian Sefton, and Dr David G Vallancourt.
A great video about the Poynting vector by the Science Asylum: • Circuit Energy doesn't...
Sefton, I. M. (2002). Understanding electricity and circuits: What the text books don’t tell you. In Science Teachers’ Workshop. -- ve42.co/Sefton
Feynman, R. P., Leighton, R. B., & Sands, M. (1965). The feynman lectures on physics; vol. Ii, chapter 27. American Journal of Physics, 33(9), 750-752. -- ve42.co/Feynman27
Hunt, B. J. (2005). The Maxwellians. Cornell University Press.
Müller, R. (2012). A semiquantitative treatment of surface charges in DC circuits. American Journal of Physics, 80(9), 782-788. -- ve42.co/Muller2012
Galili, I., & Goihbarg, E. (2005). Energy transfer in electrical circuits: A qualitative account. American journal of physics, 73(2), 141-144. -- ve42.co/Galili2004
Deno, D. W. (1976). Transmission line fields. IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems, 95(5), 1600-1611. -- ve42.co/Deno76
Special thanks to Patreon supporters: Luis Felipe, Anton Ragin, Paul Peijzel, S S, Benedikt Heinen, Diffbot, Micah Mangione, Juan Benet, Ruslan Khroma, Richard Sundvall, Lee Redden, Sam Lutfi, MJP, Gnare, Nick DiCandilo, Dave Kircher, Edward Larsen, Burt Humburg, Blake Byers, Dumky, Mike Tung, Evgeny Skvortsov, Meekay, Ismail Öncü Usta, Crated Comments, Anna, Mac Malkawi, Michael Schneider, Oleksii Leonov, Jim Osmun, Tyson McDowell, Ludovic Robillard, Jim buckmaster, fanime96, Ruslan Khroma, Robert Blum, Vincent, Marinus Kuivenhoven, Alfred Wallace, Arjun Chakroborty, Joar Wandborg, Clayton Greenwell, Michael Krugman, Cy 'kkm' K'Nelson,Ron Neal
Written by Derek Muller and Petr Lebedev
Animation by Mike Radjabov and Ivy Tello
Filmed by Derek Muller and Emily Zhang
Footage of the sun by Raquel Nuno
Edited by Derek Muller
Additional video supplied by Getty Images
Music from Epidemic Sound
Produced by Derek Muller, Petr Lebedev and Emily Zhang









Haven DeZeeuw
I’m so glad this video exists. I use to completely not even understand how electricity worked, and now I still don’t.
babushka 年 前
simon konečný
Paul met Debbie
I am still confused, but at a much higher level.
Bwig Mytch
Bwig Mytch 年 前
Chris Muratore
Chris Muratore ヶ月 前
Considering how long ago we learned to harness electricity and create electrical circuits and how much misconception surrounds it, makes me wonder about other things we've misunderstood yet utilized nonetheless.
John Wiand
John Wiand ヶ月 前
Yeah its very interesting to think about. I wonder if there’s any math we use in common practice that’s not completely accurate and would therefor disprove scientific theories we’ve accepted as being true.
uncreativename ヶ月 前
It is fascinating how often heuristics can be just as good, or sometimes even better, than actual absolute knowledge. "Rationality for Mortals" and "Antifragile" are two books that talk about that idea, more so the former, the later kind of hits it tangentially.
M E ヶ月 前
@John Wiand No dude. You're trying to hard. That's not what's happening.
rcs300 ヶ月 前
@John Wiand yea i know how ya feel, but we already know that all established math formula give no certain answers without some margin of error, even 1 + 1 = 2, whatever that 1 of something is that your adding is likely not going to have to same number of atoms as the other 1 of something your measuring therefore your answer must be a decimal value. further, even electrons, protons, and neutrons have mass that can be calculated to some approximation but impossible to measure exactly which makes measuring anything exactly impossible.
Keith McCann
Keith McCann ヶ月 前
Yes - a lecturer once told my class that we (humans) understand radio enough to make it work for us but 'exactly' how it works is still a mystery - to be fair that was 30 years ago!!!
Claire Richards
Claire Richards 16 日 前
I have a degree in Mech Engr and my Physics E&M class was the only class where I was like “yeah I just don’t get this”. Sometimes I’ll wonder though if it really was that bad. This video just reminded me that yes, yes it was that bad.
lalit Joshi
lalit Joshi 7 日 前
yess @clarierich my whole Electrical engineering is flushed today.... it's interesting to get this phenomenon.... please clear my some dough ...so i can better understand this. so what we checked in ampere meter .... what is the meaning of current raised ... so how battery ..drain, why conductors overheated ..when current raise..if electrons doesn't flows...
RickyCheesus 19 日 前
Prof Hunt! had his history of science class as an undergrad. A very excellent course, and he did a great job actually explaining scientific principals in a way humanities dunces like me could understand and enjoy! I was actually reminiscing on his course recently after watching Oppenheimer (he spent at least a few days on the Manhattan project). Happy I got to learn from him again.
TAJ Dvl-Advocate
TAJ Dvl-Advocate 5 ヶ月 前
Wow! I’m an old engineer that spent much of my career designing radar systems. While I knew that my first impulsive answer was likely wrong, it’s been a really long time since took a college E&M physics course and first learned about Maxwell’s equations and Poynting vectors. Too, no one explained it nearly as well as you. Thanks.
Contenido universe 🤡
I am an electrician and I disagree with this explanation, because in a distribution of electrical cables the cables go together in many directions and not as shown in this explanation, and it is true that all the cables emit magnetism around them but this explanation is wrong. Although his experiment works in the way that he detailed it, that the battery and everything around it emits magnetism, yes, but the electricity is not distributed in the way that the video explains it, so it doesn't work that way.
Joseph Blogs
Joseph Blogs 2 ヶ月 前
@Contenido universe 🤡 So how does it work? I have no idea, but am interested if different explanations of this process.
BatBat ヶ月 前
​@Contenido universe 🤡it doesn't matter if you or I agree with the video. It's correct. Reality, physics, these things don't care about what we feel or what our opinions are or whether or not we understand it. This is it. The real TLDR is the electrical transformer all along has been considered an oddball device since it can transmit energy with 99.9% efficiency, yet it has no physical electrical connection. You can't put two pvc water pipes next to each other and expect water to flow between them without them being physically connected, but with two electrical wires you can get electricity to flow between them without being physically connected. Think about that. This video is just saying that in reality, energy is carried through electromagnetic waves such that the transformer is not an oddball anymore, but is actually more intuitive to show us how energy is really transferred through electricity. The transformer does a much better job than wire conductors do at showing us pathetic humans how this stuff actually works. His best point in the video is how the sun is able to send us energy with no wires. Wires are just our stupid human bridge to understanding it, while simultaneously being perfect and cheap for power distribution. The wires are only setting up what the transformer does in a more linear fashion that we can more easily, and cheaply, harness to distribute energy. If you study the AC transformer in depth, you'll get a much better understanding of all of it. Because the transformer on your street is not physically connected to the power lines, yet it works. We all agree that inductive reactance is the phenomenon in transformers that allows it to work, so Faraday's induction discovery was correct, but because of Maxwell and Poynting and these newer scientists, we now know why Faraday's discovery of induction actually works. And all along, inductance was a more perfect understanding of energy transfer than conventional flow in solidly connected wires.
do flamingo
do flamingo ヶ月 前
Can someone tell me how does charge accumulation takes place
Mina Khorrambakht
I can't express in words how amazing are these videos. I really appreciate it
MattMGK 年 前
After watching this video I can confidently say I understand less about how electricity works than I did before.
Alan Wannemaker
Try opening your mind sometime ?
Jordan Moravenov
Yes, same for me. It is a new concept for me, so I am so glad about the video but unfortunatelly many questions raised that are not covered by the video...
Breakfast of Champions
Because it does touch on a more fundamental 'weirdness' (not really) about the universe that you didn't know about before.
Edward Coulter
@Alan Wannemaker But what if the information in this presentation is in error? How does that profit an individual to spend a lot of time and mental energy trying to understand something that may not be true. It may be like global warming, all garbage but we still won't quit talking about it.
A B 年 前
Because he's lying. He's using misleading editing with the professors to try to make it sound like he's saying something counterintuitive. He's cheating the viewer.
Jhon kwame
Jhon kwame ヶ月 前
This is an amazing video, it has helped clarify lots of things in my head, and I was wondering of you could share some of the interviews you had with the professors/experts prior to making this video. I am sure many would also appreciate hearing their explanations. Thanks in advance.
Hassan Gafar Omotoba
This is absolutely sensible and it can easily be understood when when you look at while a lot of PCB fails today, Rick Hartley and Dan beeker already gave something about this. It's all about the space, energy travels in space not the wire, but follow the part of least impedance the wire only serve as a wave guide.
The Interchange
The Interchange 5 日 前
See, that's what I was wondering. I was like, then why don't I interact with the fields better? But then again, I don't really have a solid grasp of grounding to begin with
brendan meyer
brendan meyer 3 ヶ月 前
From a physics class I took this semester at ASU, I'm pretty sure we learned most of this. That the + and - terminals of a battery cause a charge distribution along the wire, and this causes a net E field inside the wire, causing electron drift (v_d). I'm pretty sure electron drift is a pretty important number in a lot of calculations, and this number comes exactly from the battery potential creating a field, so it should be well known that the field is what moves the charges around, not them "bumping" into each other. So the first propositions that the electrons aren't pushing themselves out seems like it should be known. But at the same time, I also have this notion that a charge leaves the end of the wire as soon as a charge at the "beginning" of the wire moves, regardless of if the field has reached (with the speed of light). I'm not sure, but I've always learned that energy is stored in the field and not in the elctrons, and that the field pushes the charges through, so it's good that institutions are not propagating this false idea anymore, that older academics might be accustomed to.
Mr.DeadLifts ヶ月 前
That’s correct the energy is in the field hence why we have power even though there are gaps along the way to a toaster
Skill Acquisition
Why do they call if drift if electrons move at the speed of light lol
funatish 25 日 前
@Skill Acquisition I don't know if you are joking or not but electrons absolutely do not travel at the speed of light inside a wire.
Rethabile Ncheke
Rethabile Ncheke 3 ヶ月 前
This makes a lot of sense. Not crystal clear to me, but it's more practical than electrons moving through a conductor. Thanks a lot 🔥
Rick Schmitz
Rick Schmitz ヶ月 前
It doesn't help when professors use analogies with liquid flow in pipes.
Rick Schmitz
Rick Schmitz ヶ月 前
It doesn't help when professors use analogies with liquid flow in pipes.
Zeeshan Haider
Zeeshan Haider ヶ月 前
So, in this idealized scenario with no resistance in the wires, the light bulb would essentially light up almost immediately after you close the switch, as the electric field travels at the speed of light and reaches the bulb in a fraction of a second. This scenario highlights how quickly electromagnetic effects can propagate in a circuit with negligible resistance.
AT 年 前
The fundamental law of physics: electricity disappear if you stop paying bills.
Gigachad 年 前
No its the laws of capitalism that govern the energy flow
Zack Carl
Zack Carl 年 前
Nikola Tesla said energy can be free , but are we willing to
millieo 年 前
Piece D
Piece D 年 前
No You can create electricity if you want Many still it to :)
Yuri Desideri
Unless you own a solar panel
Pete Moore
Pete Moore 4 ヶ月 前
It’s refreshing to see somebody that is open to friendly debate. I can understand scientists being competitive but they never killed one another.
Raging Overkill
Raging Overkill 2 ヶ月 前
because the enemies are theories and counterpoints, not who says it. What they want to kill is the counterpoints to their own theory
fashiha rz
fashiha rz ヶ月 前
Oh no, there were definitely scientists who dueled each other, back when duels were a thing.
Who's Who
Who's Who ヶ月 前
​@fashiha rz Scientists never killed each other for competition? Oh boy.
Zockmaniac ヶ月 前
Now im angry. I am in my 10th school year and pretty interested in physics. I realized that something was off on the way my teacher explained this and asked him 3 times. He gave me an unrelated answer not adressing my question 3 times. This has finally cleared things up for me and showed me that my intuition was right. Thank you
Teezett 3 ヶ月 前
As electrical engineer this was not new to me, but I have to admit that I did not know the right answer instantly. But your explanation was very good to understand. When I studied over 20 years ago we did not have such good visualizations, we had to imagine that fields just in mind.
SphericalCow 2 ヶ月 前
That fact that this is new to you and that you are en electrical engineer means that this is not the correct way to think about circuits. This video is misleading and unhelpful.
Teezett 2 ヶ月 前
@SphericalCow I said NOT new
SphericalCow 2 ヶ月 前
@Teezett Ok, I see now. However I don't think circuits should be analyzed using the Poynting vector. I am not saying it is incorrect but it is not the way people who work on this subject think. They use voltages, ground, electric field, inductance etc... but the Poynting vector is not normally part of it.
Teezett 2 ヶ月 前
@SphericalCow when you say "people who work on this subject" you have to say which subject you mean and what is their area of expertise. Mine for example is information theory, so I think of a data transmitting system as a black box. If you have someone working on high energy engineering, then what you say can be correct. But this experiment considers the area of high frequency electrics. There the main attention is on the electromagnetic field (the Poynting vector normally is not of much interest then). Then single wires don't matter.Instead of resistance, inductance of a wire, the impedance of a complete cable is in focus. You can also look at a fiber optic cable which has no wires at all. And you dont even need a cable, for example if the engineer designs an antenna to transmit signals through space. So the video is good to understand how energy is transmitted, although the poynting vector normally may not have much relevance in daily engineering
Helio Vendemiatti
Very interesting video! How is it possible to have a PCB, which contains hundreds or thousands of stripes, to work without interfer into each other's fields around ?
Brock Jensen
Brock Jensen 11 ヶ月 前
Of course I find this video now… around 6 months ago I got into a small debate with my electrical engineering professor over a topic very similar to this. Everyone in the class seemed to be on the professors side which I guess makes sense but then the following week our professor walks into class and tells me he thought about what I was asking and had looked into it. He walked up to the board and showed some of the similar stuff you did in this video and proclaimed I had actually been correct and my original question that countered his previous discussion he admitted to the class he was in fact wrong. This was the first time in my life I had such a crystallized idea of what someone that was truly intelligent acted like. He wasn’t upset, frustrated or hurt that his initial statement was wrong because he didn’t care about being right, he cared about the truth. I know it sounds corny to say seeing someone look for confirmation instead of affirmation changed my outlook on life but it really did. Never before had I seen some so openly question their very own view and search for the truth rather than search for what backs up their view or idea. Great video, as always
Paul Goss
Paul Goss 11 ヶ月 前
Epiphanies can be painful, but we make them so. Your professor is clearly a devout scientist! Congrats to you both!!
Cami 11 ヶ月 前
That’s a great story and lesson! ❤
ESK Jazz
ESK Jazz 11 ヶ月 前
wanting to know the truth and rethinking you own knowledge, just to find out you've been wrong is a true sign of high intelligence. 👏👏👏 thinking that one is always right, on the other hand, is not
Kev Brand
Kev Brand 11 ヶ月 前
Reminds of when I was in 8th grade I argued with my elective science teacher about bullets firing in space his argument was based on the lack of oxygen and I knew that didnt matter since they can fire under water which doesn't have usable oxygen for combustion. I also liked guns growing up and its simple firearms knowledge that the use of self oxidizing smokeless propellants was a huge leap in their development. He reacted the opposite of your professor when we googled it and I was proven right.
Kiki Jewell
Kiki Jewell 11 ヶ月 前
"Power and Logic are not related." (-me) People concerned with logic aren't concerned when they're wrong, but people use _use logic_ to wield power get upset when someone else is right - their power is tied up in being right. (Note: that's the core to mansplaining too - explaining to assert dominance, not to bring equality of knowledge.)
Rangachari V
Rangachari V 4 ヶ月 前
OMG, I am a poor student in science but exactly 2 days ago I was wondering how electricity travels in the wire, does it do like water through the pipe to be tapped by a switch. Your explanation is awesome. Now I am 65 and this knowledge may help me to understand Physics in a better way in my next Birth. Hats off to you Sir.
Hello World
Hello World 3 ヶ月 前
If you stay healthy you still have a long life 🫡
Rangachari V
Rangachari V 3 ヶ月 前
@Hello World Thank you Dear, Mercy. Chari
Oh? 3 ヶ月 前
I greatly respect you never stopping learning.
Joe CNC 2 ヶ月 前
Liked-Subscribed-Notified. I am a ME (BS, MS, part of a Phd) - also a PE. This is the best explanation I have seen of these topics. Well Done! Also, Thank You for being an Order of the Engineer ring bearer.
Kevin Cookie
Kevin Cookie ヶ月 前
Great video and really well done explanation of the subject. However, I noticed the electric field lines drawn in the AC case of the light bulb diagram (9:27) are drawn incorrectly (I.e., electric field lines flowing from negative to positive). In its present form, the diagram implies energy is flowing in the opposite direction of what you’re claiming.
Payman Ferdosali
Payman Ferdosali 4 ヶ月 前
Thank you for the video and challenging the every day assumptions. I appreciate this 🎉. A couple of questions: Where and how did you prove that it takes 1/c? If you have done testing, where can I read more about the details of your test? How do we explain the impedance that happens in large conductors along with skin effect in AC, and the transient behavior in DC switching?
nosda 2 ヶ月 前
Someone correct me if I’m wrong but I assume because the battery is approximately 1m away from the light then the time taken is just speed = distance/time i.e. c = 1/t
Jamie Worthy
Jamie Worthy ヶ月 前
The example he gave of the visualization of the wire being halfway to the moon; he meant it didn’t matter if the wire was long or short because the wires are irrelevant to electrical flow. They are more like a conductor of energy basically; and as soon as you switch the light on it works immediately because there is zero flow. It’s getting energy from the outside movement of the electrical/Magnetics.
Sebastiaan Flier
Sebastiaan Flier 10 日 前
Amazing. One little thing to add: finding the flux direction only works if you use your right hand 😉
I'm an electrician from the UK. This theory can be proven by holding a florescent tube near a power line. It will glow. My family didn't believe me so I showed them. So glad you explained this in a way they understands fully. Thankyou. Very clever.
Shiraishi Chan
A total physics noob here, Im sorry if this is a really dumb question: But if a florescent tube can glow because it gets energy from the power line, why dont we get electrocuted just by standing near a power line?
PavithranD 年 前
@Shiraishi Chan same doubt 🧐
@Shiraishi Chan I feel its all about distance and what you are wearing. I'm sure if you got close enough with no clothing and a direct line to ground. You may experience ark jumping. Its a very good question 🤔
Adept of all
Adept of all 年 前
@Shiraishi Chan hey EM waves not harm us ( like light not hurt you when it falls / passes through you) here energy is transferred by EM waves from the source to the electrical device which receive and convert to their known energy ( electrical) When you keep a fluorescent bulb near it takes those energy which was carried by em waves Same concept using in a current detector in a wire , we actually detect the em waves around wire which have more intensity near it
Adept of all
Adept of all 年 前
There is a difference between holding a power wire and stands near it
2MuchFun 2 ヶ月 前
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding but the conductive elements in an electric heater look like they have energy in them and emit it as heat. Also makes me wonder how my water cooled TIG welding torch works since the water cools the small diameter conductor for a 350-amp torch with high frequency arc starting.
S M ヶ月 前
So, I barely understand this but enjoy watching these types of videos because even if I only retain a portion of the information, I'm still learning something. My immediate thoughts, are... Would what's described in this video lead credence to Nikola Tesla's idea of a "wireless" power grid?
Art 3 ヶ月 前
btw, from my old job working in a telecom lab (somewhere in Europe) - underground telecom cables had switched polarity (ground is a plus polarity) on all equipment that is connected to underground comm cables - was looking for the answer why (it was before google times) - not found in text books (at the time), but someone mentioned that this is to reduce loses of energy; I would like to see similar explanations how exactly this works ....
Excellent , a great way and method to demonstrate electricity in detail, some hidden topics are exposed, a comprehensive and logical way to express these topics in a very simple way, keep it up and all the best..
Physics Made Easy
Hi, I must admit, I am a little puzzled by this model. I do find this to be a very interesting idea to explore. What ‘worries’ me is that I only have been exposed to it recently, and that, multiple times (questions about this from my subscribers, videos from well-known and solid physics channel like yours). Like if it were a trend … I am not fond of trends when it comes to science... I do have initial concerns that popped into my mind while I was viewing the video: 1/ I read some of the comments, and many experienced engineers seem to discover and be stunned by this model. Why is that? If this is a better representation of electrical energy transfer and has been around for some time now, why hasn't it become mainstream with a standard paradigm being taught systematically around it (for example when studying and designing common electrical circuits). 2/ Your thought experiment about the wire is very interesting. Obviously, I answered wrong, haha, and considered the propagation of the electric field within the wire at the speed of light, like probably many other viewers 😉 The reason why it is 1/c makes sense within the context of the energy transfer mechanism presented in the video. But I would like to see experimental proof. Are there papers where this has been tested and confirmed experimentally in a lab without any place left for doubt? Great video by the way. I was strongly impressed with the 3D graphics. I wish I had such skill for my own videos! Did you do these yourself? Be well
Scott Cook
Scott Cook ヶ月 前
JackTheOnion 22 日 前
It makes no sense to me. How does the electric field know to supply the lightbulb if it is not through the connection created by the wire? If the wire creates some sort of connection regardless of whether there is current actually moving through it, that would be very strange. Empirically, it would be impossible to power the lightbulb if there was a very strong resistor somewhere down the line. Does this mean that turning on the switch can detect the state of a material somewhere else faster than the speed of light? As far as I've seen, nothing moves faster than light, in fact, that speed is sometimes called the rate of information transfer in the universe. As such, it seems there are only a few ways for this theory to be true. As mentioned above, the field connection could be formed in the absence of a current and is simply activated when the switch is flipped. However, this field connection should still not be able to propagate faster than the speed of light. In that case, if the wire was a light year long and you cut out a section of it at one end, the wire would still be able to conduct current for a long time even when it no longer exists. Again, this is a profoundly strange notion. Alternatively, I have misinterpreted the video and what is actually being described is something fairly mundane like the wires being close enough together to induce a current in each other, but that seems like cheating.
Maxwells Demon
Maxwells Demon 19 日 前
@JackTheOnionyour question was answered in the followup video, but I thought the exact same thing as you did. I think the problem here is, that it is presented as if the „whole“ energy would be transferred and not just a fraction due to induction. The answer to your question is, that the whole thing works, even if the wires aren’t connected. A change in current leads to an electromagnetic field, which induces a current in the wire which power the lamp. What is kind of misleading is, that the voltage increases significantly when the electromagnetic field is actually traveling through the wire. That’s where you get the information if the wire is connected or not.
JackTheOnion 18 日 前
​@Maxwells Demon I have since watched the follow-up videos to this, and as it turns out the answer is literally what I suggested at the end of my original comment. It's just the current created when a battery is hooked up to a long wire inducing a current in another wire through electromagnetism. It's also nowhere near enough current to activate an actual light bulb. Moreover, as far as I understand this current would drop to zero after the electromagnetic wave "returns" if the wires weren't connected. I really dislike this video. I have taken a college physics class that covered electromagnetism-I should understand the concept. But this video explained it in such a contrived way with a kind of trick question that made it really hard to understand and made me doubt my understanding of what was going on.
Maxwells Demon
Maxwells Demon 18 日 前
@JackTheOnion yeah, you are absolutely right. That's why I called the video misleading. He really tries to convince the viewer that they are wrong, when really they aren't. He is just describing a concept I already know about in a way that I didn't understand what he meant.
Be Smart
Be Smart 年 前
I feel like a baby who just realized mom and dad don’t really disappear during peek-a-boo
Rick Morty
Rick Morty 年 前
Elaad Teuerstein
It's light, Joe, but not as you know it! (Or thought you knew it)
Tarskybull Beme
okay but they still can't see me behind the ankle-high curtains
Dibbs YT
Dibbs YT ヶ月 前
Amazing video and really interesting. Just one thing, maybe I'm wrong, but when the ac supply is connected to the circuit, isn't the magnetic field drawn in the figure in wrong direction?
Ryan Weaver
Ryan Weaver ヶ月 前
Fractionated improvement in physics and the parts and wholes. It’s really fascinating.
Dixon Davies
Dixon Davies ヶ月 前
The electrons move quite slowly. Depends on the current and the wire impedance. If it were DC, the electrons in your light switch would take several seconds to reach the light bulb. The light comes on almost imediately because they bump the ones in front ! At close to the speed of light. The energy travels in the field surrounding the conductor.
Sam Anderson
Sam Anderson 4 ヶ月 前
There’s Immense Happiness watching this video ,knowing how universe actually works and understanding every bit of it Answering those baffling questions Thanks a ton @ veriritasium
T B 5 日 前
Man I love you! You cannot imagine how long did it take for me in the University to find out what you are explaining in this video! Non of the teachers managed to explain it to me then and I think they also never thought about it neither understand if I love the balls moving example that's exactly as I was explaining it
DelvinWolf 3 ヶ月 前
Good dang grief that was one of the most useful videos on electricity I've ever seen. I can say for certain that when I go to review Maxwell's Equations, again, I'll have a much better understanding than I did my first time.
ElectroBOOM 年 前
Well well well, stepping into my territory, eh?! I shall make a video about this!!
Simon 年 前
Hey Buddy
Mahesh Prabhu
Gauntlet thrown! I have my popcorn ready.
mango 年 前
من فن شمام😂😂😂 فارسیم نوشتم چون میدونم ایرانی هستین
Jonah Chitombo
I would love to see your take on this
SimplyNo 年 前
Silks ヶ月 前
Wouldn't this seriously affect circuit behavior in our tiny, cramped circuits of today?
Icarus-Flies 3 ヶ月 前
I've tried explaining this to people for years and get called crazy bc they don't understand. You do a great job of explaining with visual tools. Keep up the good work!! We don't need power plants, people need personal home generators that don't need fuel. We've built them but we're still crazy and they can't work... Ignorance is so stupid
Austin Gamble
Austin Gamble 2 ヶ月 前
wait what? what do you mean we’ve built personal generators 😵‍💫 i think we didn’t do that bro
Aris Ada
Aris Ada 2 ヶ月 前
I don't think the video above supports what you're saying.
Mélik Mourali
Mélik Mourali ヶ月 前
@Aris Ada Dunning-Kruger at its worst.
David Evans
David Evans 4 日 前
i don't understand
Keith Osborne
Keith Osborne 2 ヶ月 前
As an auto technician, I find opens/shorts in wires with a magnetic needle. Works great and is so difficult to explain to the young kids in the field these days. If you pay attention to the magnetic properties of electricity, it can tell you a lot.
benedict rose
benedict rose ヶ月 前
What magnetic needle do you use? What tool do you find helpful? Thanks
James Demos
James Demos ヶ月 前
This is such a mindblowing idea. Why is the damage from a shorted circuit at the point of contact? To me it looks as though the energy is flowing through the conductor. If the energy is around the conductor what change are we seeing in the energy form to the arc flash damage? It seems counterintuitive, would you follow up with how this happens?
Bran 2 ヶ月 前
thank you so much. It makes me so angry that misconceptions like "electrons powering devices" are taught in school (and many more across math and chemistry as well). It really ruins the subject for students, because when their natural curiosity causes them to start questioning things that these misconceptions can't explain, they're told that it's just "how it is" and just has to be accepted; this really kills interest in fascinating fields of science. Truly a crime.
John Galt
John Galt ヶ月 前
It's tough bro. Your missing it
Eric L Michelsen
I teach physics at the University of California, San Diego, including this very topic. Within an hour of watching this, I set up the experiment, and got the result. I have photographs of the experimental setup, and of the oscilloscope traces. I discussed the results at length with a physics professor friend, and we agree on the explanation. In fact, the load gets (nearly) the full voltage (almost) immediately; there is no (visible) ramp-up time, nor delay through the long wires (delay < 10 ns). This is fully consistent with transmission line theory that is well established for about a century. Dr. Muller's Veritasium series is great, but in this case, there are several claims that are incorrect, or at least misleading. There are many subtleties, and I cannot do them justice in a comment. I would enjoy talking with Dr. Muller to clear these up. For reference, I have a BS in Electrical Engineering, a PhD in physics, and I am author of "Quirky Quantum Concepts", an upper-division/graduate quantum mechanics text supplement. This is my first JPvid comment ever. Update: I love the Veritasium series, and I have learned a lot from it. To respond to some replies: I chose the simplest case, which I think illustrates the point that power can reach the load without going the whole length of the "wings." The analysis link below the video covers the more-complicated case. My "wings" are 50' hardware store extension cords. My propagation test confirms that coiling them doesn't matter, as expected. My analysis is fully transient, and the circuit transits to steady-state DC over time. Resistance can safely be approximated as zero, but inductance and capacitance cannot, as expected by theory. My load is 270 ohm, roughly the on-resistance of a 50 W incandescent bulb. The characteristic impedance Z ~53 ohm, which is substantially less than the load; that's what's needed for the simple case of near full response nearly immediately (the load is _not_ matched to Z). In this case, the wing capacitance dominates the behavior. Consolidating my previous reply: Examples of subtleties: Do two electrons repel each other? (a) Most people would say yes, and I agree. But one could argue (b) No, one electron creates an electric field, and that field pushes on the other electron. This is also correct; it's slightly more detailed, and from a somewhat different viewpoint, but (a) is still correct, as well. But (c) In calculating the force of (b), we use only the E-field from one electron, even though we know both produce E-fields. To use the full E-field, we have to compute force with the Maxwell stress tensor; this is also correct. There are multiple correct views one can take. The video's chain analogy is very good, and correct. Separately, a few replies have hit on the most-direct (IMO) explanation: the capacitance in the wires provides an immediate, physically short path for the electricity to reach the load. The path of current changes over time. Your gut might tell you that the capacitance is too small, but a quantitative transient analysis using standard circuit theory matches the experiment. Special Relativity still stands. More subtleties: characteristic impedance, etc. I do similar demonstrations in class, so I happen to have all the equipment and experience ready to go.
R. Gart
R. Gart 年 前
When the first comment is the best comment.
Tim Moles
Tim Moles 年 前
You know the earth is flat.
James Elliott
@Tim Moles - 😂 that's the exact right thing to say when the scientific jargon resembles an extraterrestrial language.
zafurchio 年 前
So...why do we use wires? Couldn't we do without wires in theory, to transmit energy? Basically it needs nothing in between the switch and the bulb, why does he use the wire if it really worked like he explained in the video...?
Peter Gazdik
Peter Gazdik 年 前
No delay? Are you saying information travels faster than light, and that you've measured it?
terry 4 ヶ月 前
This is the problem with the way engineering classes are often taught, equations vs. concepts. My college thermodynamics teacher was a ex-NASA contractor who had designed many rockets. Along with pithy explanations of what was actually happening in the exhaust bell of a rocket engine, he would add such intuitive axioms like "Once you've designed one rocket, you have designed them all". Of course he was talking about the repeated application of the laws of thermodynamics in virtually identical fashion, but they served to bring weighty issues down to earth. And this was very helpful to a visual thinker like me. Go Mizzou!
jebjim 29 日 前
I saw this video a while back and I revisit it in my head often. Lately, (partially due to Oppenheimer and other YTers) I've been thinking about fusion and turbines and despite my efforts so far one huge question sits in my mind. It seems, a spinning turbine doesn't "grab" electricity from the air, and neither does it come from the adjoining magnets. So, if a turbine can collect electricity from the EFM(Faraday's law IIUC),, store the electricity that can be transported elsewhere, where do the electrons that are connected come from? Energy cannot be destroyed or created but it can be reorganized, but I'm missing something from Faraday's law. Care to make a video entertaining and educating us all on this matter?
DrinkColdWater 3 ヶ月 前
hey i am a medical studend great video, i wanted to ask if this is also applicable for neaurons and how the propegate action potential?
arthur k
arthur k 5 ヶ月 前
I think, what actually matters, is the location of the switch. Think if you put the switch in the middle which is 0.75 * 10^8 meters away from battery and the light bulb, when you close the switch, you'll create a signal and it shall travel from the switch to the light bulb. Thus the bulb won't light up, until the signal reach the bulb which is at least 1/4s.
Jake Stine
Jake Stine 2 ヶ月 前
Remember that a switch only switches one line. So the circuit is able to be energized right up to the gab that the switch has created. Therefore the force of energy need only close the gap of the switch itself - which is essentially nothing - regardless where the switch is located.
Aris Ada
Aris Ada 2 ヶ月 前
@Jake Stine Because of special relativity even the fields can't be generated instantly. The fields would start being generated from the switch in both directions. The light would start lighting up after distance/c seconds.
HughB 3 ヶ月 前
Back when I had a 60's high performance car, with at the time a very powerful ignition system - I was adjusting the solid lifters at night when I noticed to my utter astonishment that the sparks were traveling on the OUTSIDE of every highly insulated spark wire!?!?! The car ran perfectly, no misfires, but it was an electrical show under my hood.
David Uliana
David Uliana 6 ヶ月 前
Holy crap. I have degrees in engineering, have investigated numerous electrical fires and worked for decades developing electro-mechanical devices, and no Electrical Engineer has ever explained electricity this way. Things now make a lot more sense.
Leonid Fro
Leonid Fro 4 ヶ月 前
His explanations are trivial, and answer to light bulb problem is absolutely wrong.
HRN 3 ヶ月 前
​@leonidfro8302 source: "trust me bro"
Variamente 3 ヶ月 前
@Leonid Fronah its correct and you just dont understand at all
Leonid Fro
Leonid Fro 3 ヶ月 前
@Variamente The question is asked in highly misleading manner. There's no "misconception", Maxwell equations are known and taught in 2nd semester of engineering degree.
Jason Richardson
Jason Richardson 3 ヶ月 前
​@Leonid Frojust because they're taught clearly doesn't mean their implications are understood. As you're evidence of. Most people in these comments have studied engineering, as have I. Over a decade ago.
Michael Beckerman
Michael Beckerman 4 ヶ月 前
Can I get an informed opinion on the Skin Effect please when it comes to audio? Does this really have the ability to impact the performance/propagation of an audio signal being transmitted down a cable? I've heard that it does, but at most it only has about a 3% effect on the signal, if that.
anurag maurya
anurag maurya 4 ヶ月 前
I'm a student preparing for neet exam and my teacher had discussed this in Allen classroom lectures.... PG sir ☺️....
Sylvain Deslippes
It is like the way my chemistry teacher change for ever the way I look at boiling water. As simple as it is for now for me to understand all aspect of it, I am still mesmerized by it.
Nick Kanah
Nick Kanah 5 ヶ月 前
I am not so good in physics so I have a question... So if we will remove isolation from a wire and put something iron on it (or even just near it) - this iron thing will magnetize after some time? But what I definitely learned thanks to that video is that if we put a lamp near a wire, it may light after a while. Actually, I've learned it experimentally before, but now I really understand why it happened!
putting it nnear the wire will just turn it to power grid situation being air the bad conductor
Alexandre Figueiredo
I'm still struggling with this issue. I understand that energy flows along the electric field lines, which I agree with. However, the electric field is created when the wires become charged, he says that at 7:07. So, in the practical case of a very long electrical circuit, the electric field originating from the battery still needs to travel around the entire wire circuit to form and reach the bulb. Why would this be any different for a short or long circuit? Is he suggesting that when the switch is turned on, the electric field lines will form perpendicular to the circuit lines, going directly from the battery to the bulb, 1 metre away from the battery? I can't understand why that would happen, it doesn't make sense to me.
Backlash 年 前
WOW! I'm 80 years old. Started learning electronics in the Army in 1959. We were taught the "Right Hand Rule" in the study of inductors and transformers. Although we knew about the magnetic field around conductors we never applied that knowledge like this. Thank you for teaching an old man a new trick.
Abhinav 年 前
Wow u still study Great grandpa ji🙏
Backlash 年 前
@Abhinav Thank you. I love electricity in all forms. Except, of course, the CHAIR!
@Backlash do chairs really exist though
Felix Soundso
Felix Soundso ヶ月 前
Amazing video 😊, but shouldn't it be 1/c meters to get the units right?
Dazza P
Dazza P ヶ月 前
I'm still struggling to think about how my solar panels export power onto the grid (with a big power station at the other end) as the direction of energy flow can flip-flop contstantly (eg when the sun goes in). I've always assumed theres just a higher voltage at one end of the cable, so when the sun is out the PV invertor will be putting a higher voltage on the cables and thus the direction of energy flow
psychopomp of styx
Lmao. I love that veritasium kept the clip of the scientists all agreeing that he would get called out in this video. Wonderful forshadowing!
Arda Başar
Arda Başar 5 ヶ月 前
And this is the way to do ads and product placement. Thank you for it, coming from a person who hates most ads. Non-intrusive, explicit, not distractive or ignorantly manipulative, yet sufficiently in place as you use those in the video, and who wonders what they are, can find out in the end.
Ronak Dhakan
Ronak Dhakan 4 日 前
My guess is : 1 Second. For the time it takes the electron wave to reach from the negative terminal to the bulb. The 2nd part of the journey from the bulb to the positive terminal does not matter as it is required only to dump the excess electrons back in the battery. I was wrong. But as per your explanation if the wires were kept the same length and the bulb was moved away from the battery, then the time taken would increase. With the same length of wires!
Joe Whiley
Joe Whiley 年 前
I am a third year Physics uni student and I can onfindently say that you have managed to explain the poynting vector better than any of my professors ever have...
Sunny Ray
Sunny Ray 年 前
I bet
Bruce 年 前
That’s because I bet none of them have ever taken any education classes (not required if you can believe that).
scotty king david
Isn't that the truth. And also after working in the field for many years. I learned so much more on the job. Hardly anything I learned in school whatsoever.. barely. Just the basics.
Sciurus 年 前
Bro you need to watch some Eric Dollard lectures... I would recommend "History and Theory of Electricity" and "Origins of Energy Synthesis" right here on JPvid if you really want to get at understanding the essence of electrical phenomena. Just remember that a Theory of Everything has grave implications for Aerospace and Weapons development, and thus has major national security implications should it ever be out there for all the world to see, and thus why for the most part, we are kept in the dark as a member of the general public on topics that get deep into the essence of the reality of nature and natural philosophy!
dana102083 年 前
@Jay Rock he misspelled confidently....so you're just as wrong? 😆
milesmiles68 5 ヶ月 前
A follow-up experiment should change the distance between the battery and the bulb and plot the time it takes for the bulb to light up as a function of that distance.
Meng ヶ月 前
I actually got a question about this example, if we cut the long circuit in the middle, does that means the bulb would also light up in 1/c second because of the electromagnetic field?
Teymur Asgarli
Teymur Asgarli ヶ月 前
Our professor at KSU explained it during the first term. Thanks to professor Ibraheem Ashafeey.
Faisal Alqawsi
Faisal Alqawsi 5 ヶ月 前
Thank you for this nice video . Now I think we can just point a battery toward a light bulb and it will light and drop the wire as long as conductor's free electrons has no job in delevering the energy. Morevere, if EM wave need guide we can use plastic or rubber instead of conducing wires . Should this worked I would believe your thought .
Claudio Kirima
Claudio Kirima 2 ヶ月 前
I know I am late for this but how do you account for resistance the resulting variations in energy supplied to the bulb?
Anders Wraae
Anders Wraae 年 前
At the end of a very intese physics course and right after the exams, our teacher ended it by telling us that everything we had just learned about the flow of energy in an electric system was most likely wrong and mentioned something about energy not passing through the cables. Now I finally know what he meant. Thank you 😅🙇
RocketPig 年 前
What are the cables for then?
Adam Murphy
Adam Murphy 年 前
@RocketPig I might be wrong, but I think they are essentially allowing the magnetic field to form properly in the loop configuration and essentially becomes the structure the fields will form around. So for example, without the cable, you can't turn on a battery or switch and just power your devices, it needs a bridge to stabilize around and focus it's energy into. But maybe I am flat wrong, but this is how I am kinda understanding it
JorgeForge 年 前
@RocketPig I believe they are to transmit those fields to your home, otherwise they'd disperse. I'm actually dumbfolded by what I just learned.
Mythril Shotgun
I do remember thinking it was weird that a ring voltometer could work at all, If the coating of wires was a good enough insulator to protect me, why would a voltometer work at all? I won't pretend I've fully grasped the info in this video, but it does help me realize the importance of the field itself.
Vigilant Cosmic Penguin
A teacher saying everything they just taught you was wrong is such a baller move, honestly. That's how you keep people curious.
Rabï Ibrahim
Rabï Ibrahim 29 日 前
So if you had put down the battery a kilometer away from the bulb, but every other part of your set up remained the same, would the answer to the question still be 1/c? Or would it stlighty increase, due to the increased distance the energy needs to travel?
Jonatan Persson
Jonatan Persson 14 日 前
I am still a bit confused, so what happens if you cut the wires at the ends of the half light second edge, will the light turn on after 1/c seconds and then turn off after 0.5 s or 1s?
Viridis Echo
Viridis Echo ヶ月 前
The Navy taught us basic foundational electrical knowledge for our jobs, but when we asked questions like, “Where is the energy coming from , how does it work, etc.” their only answers were…”We don’t know.”
DHRUV 4 ヶ月 前
This video literally changed 3 times and I have watched every time it gets better 👍
Sebastiano Ira
Sebastiano Ira 3 ヶ月 前
Veritasium thank you for this video, you mentioned topics that are not teached in most of uni courses; I should have mentioned Nikola Tesla too: energy doesn't need wires to flow, at least it's not necessary.
YuhNinja ヶ月 前
Aren't Tesla coils, a coil of copper/ wire?
John Chessant
The part about AC was mindblowing. The Poynting vector is S = E x B but if both E and B are reversed, then S = (-E) x (-B) so the energy flow stays the same!
Francisco Power
For me, that was one of the only parts where I was like "oh, yeah, I know this one!" ahahah! Everything else was mind-blowing!
bloocheez3 年 前
The visualation was the only why I would have understood that concept. Seeing the diagram, I immediately recognized it as just rotating the circuit along the axis. People who can look at numbers and gleen the same information are wizards as far as I'm concerned.
Eric Dugal
Eric Dugal 年 前
I absolutely read SEX the first time I saw your comment. Had to do a double take, lol.
Julien Paradis
Walid 年 前
@Francisco Power same lmao, I'm still shocked for everything else, I guess I have to watch the video a few more time
INV_Vision 4 ヶ月 前
An explanation why most electrical devices only work with DC current would be interesting now! Probably because a lot of components have some kind of diodes built into them and therefore no electromagnetic fields can build up when the current vector points in the “wrong direction“…🤔
Sándor Tirla
Sándor Tirla 20 日 前
Many thanks for this explanation. So, if the electrical energy is traveling around the power lines, the central part of this lines is not in use, it is good for nothing. Then, the power lines could be elaborated without the central part which means this lines should be like tubes, like pipe lines. This means an economy of a lot of material (cooper). In addition, in this pipes could be circulated a cooling liquid just like in the secondar coil of point welding tranfsomers.
Bart De Bie
Bart De Bie 26 日 前
We simply must get the vacuum energy part moving, for when one examines all the options, it is the only option that will work in time. We already know that the Maxwell-Heaviside equations, prior to Lorentz regauging, do include open systems in disequilibrium in their vacuum exchange. We are also already aware that the present classical EM model completely omits the vacuum interaction (much less any broken symmetry in that interaction!), which we also know is a gross non sequitur since the vacuum interaction (and the dipole's broken symmetry in it) have been well-known in particle physics since the 1950s. The major problem in the U.S. is that the decision scientists at top positions advising leaders/secretary/vice-President/presidents, usually do not know anything but U(1) electrodynamics, and the advice they get from additional "expert" scientific consultants or advisers is inferior in that these "expert advisers" also seem to know only U(1) and also only the Lorentz-regauged Maxwell-Heaviside equations. Many (most) do not even "believe" in the active vacuum, or if they begrudgingly admit it, they think it is of absolutely no consequence. And they simply do not believe the tremendous energy density of the vacuum, nor will they accept it, even though it is good physics and has been for decades. Hence the entire scientific energy structure and infrastructure in the United States is fearsomely welded to a small fragment (subset) of Maxwell's theory, and even to just a Lorentz regauged subset of the severe Heaviside truncation of it! We have a scientific mindset problem of epic proportion. In short, the energy crisis is completely the fault of our own scientific community. It is NOT the fault of the President, the Vice President, or the Secretary of Energy! It is the direct fault of the inferior advice being given them by the NSF, NAS, etc. The sad thing is that the U.S. scientific community is seemingly no longer capable of even evaluating its own U(1) EM model, as it has become almost an iron dogma. E.g., in the 1880s Heaviside discovered the enormous energy pouring out of the terminals of any generator -- vastly more energy than we provide as mechanical energy input to the shaft. Poynting, of course, only dealt from the beginning with the tiny component of that energy outpour that is intercepted by the external circuit and caught and used. Lorentz understood both the Poynting component and the Heaviside component as well. But no one could explain what could possibly be the source of such an enormous energy flow from EVERY GENERATOR, BATTERY, AND SOURCE DIPOLE. That is rigorous. Simply check Heaviside's original papers. Anyway, Lorentz then took the attitude that this enormous Heaviside energy flow component, missing the circuit entirely and just wasted, had "no physical significance" (his words). So he arbitrarily discarded it (not from NATURE, but from MATHEMATICAL ACCOUNTING) by a clever little integration trick, still used by all the electrodynamicists and those energy scientists designing and building our electrical power systems, writing our textbooks, teaching in our universities -- and advising Presidents, Vice-Presidents, and Secretaries of Energy. In short, we most often face scientists who literally will not believe and cannot comprehend that every generator we ever built, already extracts enormous energy from the vacuum. It is quite easy to prove it, for peanuts. Any lab, university, or decent experimenter can do it. Kraus' diagram in his Electromagnetics, Fourth Edition, shows the nondiverged energy flow component in the form of contours, which are MEASURED watts/square meter at each point, where a unit point static charge will catch that much more energy. Let me now give you a rigorous proof, and very simple, that every system is already vastly overunity by producing far more energy out than we input. Consider a perfect DC generator, loss free, so that its efficiency is 100%. Now consider a perfect external circuit attached, which consists of two short lengths of perfect conducting wire, and a pure resistance load. Let the load be 12 ohms, and the voltage of the generator be 12 Volts D.C. Now we have a neat little situation: We put in the mechanical power equivalent of 12 watts to the shaft. Since the generator is loss free, all the 12 watts are perfectly transduced into magnetic field, and the energy in this field is dissipated with 100% efficiency to form the source dipole. Let us leave the source dipole for a moment. Now we look at the external circuit. There is one ampere of current (12V divided by 12 Ohms) flowing in the external circuit. So we are inputting 12 watts of power to the generator shaft, and we are getting 12 watts of power output in the resistor. All this is clearly measurable and normal so far. Now we check out John D. Kraus, Electromagnetics, Fourth Edn., McGraw-Hill, New York, 1992. Figure 12-60, a and b, p. 578 shows a good drawing of the huge energy flow filling all space around the conductors, with almost all of it not intercepted and thus not diverged into the circuit to power it, but just "wasted." Hey! We have 12 watts of power in. We have 12 watts of power output of the resistor as heat. By conventional Poynting considerations, we are getting out precisely what we are inputting. That is a blatant lie. We are getting output from the resistor precisely as much as we are inputting to the shaft of the generator. Yet we also are getting out a measurable vast amount of energy flow from those generator terminals, filling all space around that circuit. Those Kraus contours are experimental measurements. Anyone can do them, or similar. Anyone can build a little system very similar to this one, and approximating it. So where the devil is all that VAST EXTRA MEASURABLE ENERGY FLOW pouring from the generator terminals, and missing the circuit entirely, COMING FROM? Experimentally we can easily prove that this Heaviside nondiverged energy flow is (1) real, and (2) very large. Let us now add in an extra set of "receiving antenna/collectors" whose circuitry is completely separate from the DC generator circuit with its load. Suppose we add enough of these "little antenna/interceptor/detector" circuits, each containing a little purely resistive load, to obtain 3 watts total in all those extra and independent circuits. Well, now we are inputting 12 watts. We are getting out 12 watts in the external resistor attached to the generator. We are also getting 3 watts out of the "extra receiver circuits" separately, in separate loads. So our total input is 12 watts. Our total output is 15 watts. Our demonstrated COP = 1.25. So how do the "experts" explain that simple experiment????" They don't. But any lab worth a tinker's dam -- and that includes any lab in Department Off Energy and in any university -- can do a similar experiment, catching enough of the extra "usually nondivergent EM energy flow" to bring the COP to COP>1.0. This is a very simple experiment. So is the Bohren experiment which produces COP=18, is published in the hard literature, and is independently replicated by two additional scientists and published in the same issue of Am. J. Phys. that published the Bohren experiment paper. Anyway, Lorentz's "physically insignificant" vast Heaviside nondiverged EM energy flow component is indeed "physically insignificant" to that single external circuit powered by that DC generator. But it is certainly not "physically insignificant" to those extra "receiver/collector circuits" and their independent loads. Let's use two imaginary viewgraphs where in the first one Lorentz is shown in a sailboat on an ocean, in a very nice large ocean wind. Puffing his pipe, Lorentz is smiling and saying, "Only the wind in my sails is of any physical significance". In the second graph, Lorentz is looking aside at a whole fleet of additional sailboats, calmly sailing along and powered by that "insignificant remaining component of the wind". And Lorentz is saying, "How can they be using that physically insignificant wind?" This is an exact analogy to the state of thinking that now exists in the U.S. power industry and the U.S. scientific community concerned with power systems. We don't have an energy crisis, we have a collection and usage crisis-and a vast scientific mindset crisis. Hopefully this will change in the future with highly capable scientists who know quaternion electrodynamics, Maxwell's original complete theory, etc.
No it wont
No it wont 3 ヶ月 前
Question, when alternating current occurs, do the surface charges of the wires just switch which side of the wire they're on, so the electrons travel backward, and the energy flows through, and all the Powerplant actually does is force electrons through the Coulomb Force?
gooseloose ヶ月 前
i knew pretty early in my studies that electricity doesnt really "flow" but energy distribute through the wire. But thinking about "flowing electrons" make things like resistance and cable limits, heat etc. makes it way easier to comprehend without needing an masters degree in electrical engineering to think about turning on your oven
Mr. Jason
Mr. Jason 年 前
This actually raises more questions than it answers.
Scott Cook
Scott Cook 年 前
yeah i think that was the intent of the video... classic youtuber ploy
Piotr Grzonka
Yeah. But it is so with all knowledge.
SovietDies 年 前
means there's more to learn as always;)
Somnath Paul
Somnath Paul 年 前
Skrzynka 年 前
naah everything is solved.
Freda Tait
Freda Tait 2 ヶ月 前
In the video, they showed an example where the circuit went 300,000km. I'm not sure about the diameter, but... what if you had the same wire, but the size of the circuit was equal to Mars' orbit? How long would it take for the light to go on? If there's a 30 min time difference for a wave of light, but the electric current (going through a field) get's there in a fraction of the time, that indicates some really interesting things. Or did I get part of the video wrong?
Ali Khan
Ali Khan ヶ月 前
To be honest, I had studied Poynting Theorm (and Vector), but couldn’t understand it this way before.
TR4G 3 ヶ月 前
Very interesting! How does this work with the concept of shielded wires? I’m thinking about automotive applications, but really any shielded wires, but also twisted pair wires for CAN bus lines for example.
bryan nonya
bryan nonya 2 ヶ月 前
I was taught this in the 6th grade, how is it that so many educated people have no idea how this all works.
Justin Cralle
Justin Cralle 2 ヶ月 前
Can we see a video explaining how these fields operate with resistance?
Dylan Dailey
Dylan Dailey 年 前
EE here; I think most of this info is technically correct, but potentially misleading in some areas. For one, while it's true that energy is transferred in the space around a conductor, as opposed to through the conductor, the *vast* majority of that transfer is taking place *extremely* close to the conductor (we're talking millimeters, typically), due to both the magnetic and electric field strengths decreasing exponentially with distance from the conductor. So in reality, the energy being transferred actually decreases superexponentially with distance from the conductor. Now, in power lines, the ground is still a concern because it's a very long conductor, carrying very high voltage, at very high currents; it's a somewhat extreme case. Yet, even though the cable is *miles* long, we only need to separate it from the ground by tens of meters to significantly reduce losses over that long distance. Furthermore, the ground is only a problem because power lines are AC. If they were DC, you could lay the cable right on the ground, and you wouldn't get any significant energy loss. Edit: see below, the dropoff is not actually superexponential, but the general idea that energy transfer is greater closer to the conductor is still accurate. For two, the analogy of electron flow being like water through a tube is actually still accurate in the case of the undersea transmission line. The metal rings around the cable cause a change in electrical impedance for that section of the cable. In the case of water in a tube, this would be analogous to having an air bubble trapped in your tube. As a pressure wave travels through the water, it will suddenly hit this air pocket, which is far more compressible than the water (i.e. has a different impedance), which will cause the waveform to distort in precisely the same manner as the electric wave does in the cable. Some energy will pass through the bubble, creating your distorted (attenuated) waveform, and the rest of the energy will actually become a wave reflected back in the other direction. This is precisely what's causing the distortions in the undersea transmission line. There's a bunch of reflected waves bounding back and forth between all the iron rings that stretch and distort the original signal. (for the real electrical nerds, check out "time domain reflectometry", which uses this principle to precisely detect where a fault exists on a power line) Third; yes, energy transfer from the switch to the bulb will occur in 1/c time (by the way, I think you could clarify this by representing it as d/c time, where d is distance from the switch to the bulb. You never really state where the 1 comes from in that equation (at first I thought you were implying it was a constant value, unrelated to this distance)). And yes, you do clarify that it will only be a fraction of the steady state energy. But I think you should stress that this would be an *extremely* small portion of that steady state energy. The initial energy that the bulb receives will only be due to the capacitive and magnetic coupling between the two long portions of the conductor. And in the case of wire separated by 1 meter, both the capacitive and magnetic coupling would be practically zero. This again is due in part to the exponentially decaying electrical and magnetic field strengths with distance from the conductor, as well as the poor electric and magnetic permiativity of the dielectric (air) between the conductors. Fourth; addressing your question about "why is energy transferred during one half cycle, but not returned back to the plant in the other half of the cycle", I think your physical demonstration actually explains that perfectly. No matter which end of the chain you pull, there's something down the line offering resistance to the motion of the chain. Heck, you even get friction between the chain and the tube, which is like resistance in electrical conductors. However, if you attached a sort of clock spring to your wheel (such that the spring always worked to return the wheel to its at-rest position), you would indeed see some energy returned to the power plant (you) on the second half of the cycle. This is analogous to powering a capacitive load with AC.
Jack Reacher
Jack Reacher 年 前
If the energy is transferred in the space extremely close to the conductor, and he said that electric field needs to extend through the circuit (at 6:15) , does it mean that he's wrong saying that the light bulb will turn on almost instantaneously (at 11:45)?
Chi-fan Chu
Chi-fan Chu 年 前
This should get more upvote, this is what I learned in college, also EE major here.
Josh Harrison
Thanks for your comment. Him saying the chain analogy doesn’t work for AC energy transfer is false but just a ploy to say something controversial to sound smart and get clicks. But the chain analogy and water in pipe analogy are fine for the AC example. This is a fake controversy and a lame video.
José Alvim
José Alvim 年 前
That's a really complete comment. It touches most of the points that bothered me. Thank you. One frequent things I've been seeing on the comment section was the idea of cutting the wire midway through the experiment. From what I understand, I reckon the electric field will just propagate through the wire until it reaches the cut ends; at which point there will be no current and the magnetic field will drop off and no more power will reach the light bulb, correct?
Max Tepermeister
+1 on the technically correct but very misleading train. Everything he said was true, but it implies something that's not quite right. I'd love to see some calculations showing the current across the bulb vs time for the very long wire case shown in the video. If anyone knows a place where that's been done that'd be great! It feels like a lot of the misunderstandings about this come from the classical simplifying assumptions that are made to make lumped element circuit modeling easier. Things like assuming that there's no wave propagation time. This means that the intuition gained from lumped element circuit modeling can fail us. This certainly gets me. The full time dependent maxwell description of this problem is much harder to reason about. The problem as posed seems like a good application of distributed element modeling The other thing that surprised me was the professors talking about how there isn't energy in the electrons. Now this is also technically true as well, in as much as energy is mostly book keeping, but there's definitely an energy change associated with moving a charge in an electric field. You can turn the electrical potential energy into a kinetic energy of an electron. In an electron beam for example. And I feel like they both know and kinda say this, but the way Derek has presented this seems to imply something a bit different. If misunderstood something then please let me know.
Mark Stambaugh
Mark Stambaugh ヶ月 前
This was a great video. I have always wondered about this topic.
Fabricio Oliveira
Awesome job, love your videos. Mind blowing
Daniel Paquette
Daniel Paquette 13 日 前
I am even more confused after seeing this than I was before. One of the extra confusions is "If electrical energy goes through a field, not the electrons in/on a wire, why does the gauge of the wire matter so much?"
ForTheHomies ヶ月 前
I actually didn't know this one. Absolutely incredible!
ltjgambrose 年 前
Speaking as an electrical engineer, electricity is the closest thing in to magic that everyday people deal with. I deal with conceptualizing electricity and electrical components every day, and you're kind of forced to think of amperes like your chain analogy, voltage like water pressure, transformers like gear boxes, etc. But you have to keep in the back of your mind the whole time "but it's not water mains or a gearbox, it's electricity". It's simple up close but a whole other different thing when you try to think of the whole power grid at once. My advice to laypeople? Learn what you can, and marvel at the physics of electricity with me! ...But call a professional if you need to wire a car charger into your garage.
NUKE 年 前
nathan87 年 前
I can almost guarantee that the electrician who wires your car charger doesn't understand much of this either >
Uhhhhh 年 前
@nathan87 electrician here; we’re not labourers or handymen, we’re trained in electrical theory and hold technical qualifications. We may end up slightly dirty at the end of a work day but we’re well paid and quite knowledgable 😊
Alex Manchester
I am exactly the kind of person the wise man was referring to when he said "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing". I'm exactly the kind of person who would learn the basics and immediately think they could DIY their own car charger, lol. This video, and indeed this comment, are good reminders that I don't know ANYTHING about how electricity works, no matter how many cool analogies I know.
@nathan87 But he will certainly be aware of the dangers evolved with working with electricity! As the OP already quoted, electricity comes pretty close to magic: you can't hear/smell/see it, but it can kill you quite easily.
Jamie Turner
Jamie Turner 3 ヶ月 前
At the end of the video, there is a short discussion about the problems with underwater telegraph cables. Considering the recent Titan submarine disaster, can you make a video on how to communicate underwater? Explain how underwater electromagnetic propagation works? How can underwater communication barriers be overcome?
Ytinasniiable 3 ヶ月 前
Easiest way to realize it's not the push pull of electrons is that if it was, AC power would allow faster than light communication
Francesco Morandi
Thanks for your great presentation. Can you please explain why then then the wire size matters if electricity travels through the magnetic field?
mfc1 12 日 前
Wondering something like this as well
Potato sticks
Potato sticks 14 日 前
My question is, if this is the case, what effect does a mass inside of the magnetic field play in the energy’s distribution. Say there was a brick wall between the battery and the lightbulb in that example in the video, or, some wall of mass that is considerably dense (idk if brick is necessarily dense or well insulated etc.)
Potato sticks
Potato sticks 14 日 前
The traditional thought of how this stuff works would be, it doesn’t matter, so long as the wires are connected, the energy will flow, and a mass between the power supply and its destination wouldn’t matter cause “energy is flowing through the wires” and not through space outside of those wires
Yannic W
Yannic W 3 ヶ月 前
What would be the mechanical analogy? I like to think of power as the product of "flow" x "potential". Like current * voltage or velocity * force (impedance analogy). Is there something fancy like gravitation (as a field) that actually implies transmitting of mechanical power (and energy)?
Randall Parker
I'm 66 years old. As a child, we lived near large transmission lines in a rural area of CA. They passed over one of our pastures. We had a small water pump shed near the base of one of the towers. I "helped" my dad bury the power wires to the pump shed, 400 ft. from our barn/shop when he was installing a new pump. My dad used pipe strapping tape to mount some fluorescent tubes inside and outside of the shed. Everynight the lights were always on and I asked him why. He took me out to the shed, and asked me if I felt anyything... I realized that the hairs on my arms felt tingly, and I felt something in my ears. He explained about how such high voltage cables as above "induce" a magnetic field way around the big cables, that's what gives me the feelings, and what makes the tubes glow like they were wired to something. That had to have been 1960 /61- as I had just started 1st grade. He drew some sketches to show how "he thought" it worked. He gave me a basic electricity book and quizzed me every once in awhile. His sketches looked just like your graphics. I guess my dad WAS a lot smarter when I was younger. LOL
bryandigital [dot] io
This is a great story, thanks for sharing 🙌
Electric fields. Electric. Magnetic field can not light up a tube. Unless you create a loop which turns magnetic back to electricity.
graham121150 年 前
@MarkoZBogdańca how it works.dont know.but a tube will always light round high voltage
@MarkoZBogdańca They are the same, it's just a question of the point of view, it's relative. 😉
Michael Flood
Power lines can make fluorescant bulbs glow like that? I never knew. You could make a little epidode just about that. :)
Christian James
Christian James 2 ヶ月 前
Random question here, are there any affects to the human body because of the magnetic field around the electrical wires/devices?
Ripsometime 4 ヶ月 前
Okay, but If I stood at one of the lines extremes with a pair of scissors and cut the line, how long would it take for the light bulb to turn off? Would it take half a second for the collapse of the electromagnetic field? Or would it happen nearly instantly? If its the latter we could use a switch to transmit information nearly instantly over astromonical distances. If its the former then I'm confused as to how the field propogates to the lightbulb near instantly.
Sylvain Deslippes
I don't know this in the sense that I can explain it but it is some of the thing I think every day about. Thatand quantum mechanics (how electrons and other particles get mass) and osmosis pressure. These things are actually the secrets of the universe.
朕是神 3 ヶ月 前
How fast do you feel the wind from a fan turning on? Distance/Lightspeed. Because the fan starting to move changes the mass distribution, and the gravitational pull on the air molecules close to you will move slightly different. /s