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By request, some ponderments on the theory presented by Veritasium that energy transfer between a source and load is via external fields facilitated by an electron path.
I like to keep an open mind on electron theory, as everything we know about electron behaviour is based on perceived effects of something that is subatomic. All it takes is the discovery of a new characteristic to throw the puzzle open again.
As usual, the topic digressed all over the place.
In a way it's kinda pleasing that Veritasium's video poked the hornet's nest. It shows that people are still willing to explore alternatives to established theories.
Here's a link to his original video:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHIhgxav9LY
If you enjoy these videos you can help support the channel with a dollar for coffee, cookies and random gadgets for disassembly at:-
http://www.bigclive.com/coffee.htm
This also keeps the channel independent of YouTube's advertising algorithms allowing it to be a bit more dangerous and naughty.
#ElectronicsCreators

The notepad is out early for this one, because that naughty, mr veritasium has stood over right hornet's nest with his video covering uh the concept that electricity may not travel in circuits. In the way we've originally thought with con with conventional current flow and electron theory. So, to start this, i'm going to have to actually say that it really is theory, his theory and our theory, because nobody has ever seen an actual electron. As such i mean okay, i suppose some scientists may claim they've seen them.

You go on google, and you find pictures like this, which show things like um an atom of carbon with a a cluster of electrons around it, and you look at them and think. Is that really what it looks like? Have they actually managed to see that small? Because we're talking about the base elements of like all materials here and they're, like they're, very, very small. This, incidentally, is a ping pong ball with some filters applied in earthen review, but you get the drift. I wonder how many of those other pictures are are similar computer generated sounds, however, let's talk about conventional current flow first, and that is the theory of how electricity passes through a while.

So this emulates, a wire and the central core is the conductor with lots of electrons are free to move through it. The outer core here is the plastic insulation, and before i even start with this, i have to explain that, because i'm talking about raw electrons, i normally like to use what they call conventional electron theory, because in the early days - and this shows you how things can Change in the early days, they thought that current flowed from positive to negative. They later found that electrons actually flow in opposite direction. The electrons actually flow from the negative to the positive, but unfortunately, by that time, they've done all the sort of electrical and electronic symbols.

So when you think of it, i prefer to stick to conventional theory positive to negative, because that way the diodes are all the right way, but in this instance i'm going to make a concession i'm going to go talking electrons. So, for that reason, i'm going to say we apply a negative voltage here and a positive voltage here and what happens with conventional theory of current flow is that when you've got a completed circuit with a wire electrons are pushed by pressure. The voltage into this end of the wire and it nudges all the other ones through, so you push a couple electrons in and the other ones pop out the other end effectively and when you've got a complete circuit like this. Theoretically, because this is something you can't really prove easily, but they say that even for a significant current, the electron flow is really slow, almost like slow motion through the wire just because it is shuffling all the other screw which uh makes me wonder.

I mean in the case of ac, the electrons are literally you've just got a few shuffling in and out. Well i see a few in the scale of things if this was a even uh, a wire say three millimeters or an eighth of an inch in diameter. Um, you may be talking bazillions of electrons, so uh with the ac, those electrons shuffle backwards and forwards, and you know when you consider that it is just shuffling those electrons. It makes you realize that an electric shock is a very special thing.

Indeed. Anyway, veritasium presented a concept. He presents the concept that if you got a battery, let's draw the battery and a lamp, but joshua draws a lamp symbol and you connect them together and the lamp lit up, then the electrical energy that is being transferred from the battery to the lamp to make It light up is not actually going through the wire. There is an incidental flow of electrons through the wire, but it's actually being coupled with magnetic fields from surrounding the battery.

The battery would normally have electrical fields surrounded anyway, but also magnetic fields that are kind of like making the current flow of the electron flow in the wires. Just incidental to that, it's just providing a path and the energy is traveling the outside of the wires to make the lamps light up. That is a very interesting theory, but the way he describes this is he raises the fact that in way distant past a scientist called james clark. Maxwell realized that light the sunlight hitting the earth is actually part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Goodness knows how we work that out, but if you consider that the electromagnetic spectrum say we'll start at this end, we'll start at dc and we'll go, the frequency will rise and we have in distinct sections. We've got the dc and we've got the to all intense purposes: mains voltage, wiring, 50 hertz, 60 hertz is way down effectively close to dc, but as the frequency rises you go through various levels. You go through radial radial frequencies, you go through microwave frequencies and then it goes into the infrared. Then the optical spectrum - that's the i was going to say: that's the sunlight bit, but in reality the optical spectrum actually covers a whole load of this then to the ultraviolet and then to like all the nasty bits above that, like x-rays and gamma radiation, we don't Want to know about those bits, but the theory the formulas are being applied to justify seeing the current flows the outside i get the feeling that they largely apply to the radial part of the spectrum and not necessarily down to the bottom part of the spectrum.

Here, certainly with radio, of course, the energy is being transferred through the air and does not need wires. It's a black magic, however, for the dc. I don't think that applies, however, to justify this. The person that came up this concept uh as an example used under an underwater communication network to let this is where i get it wrong: telegraphy telegraphy.

I don't use that word very often, because i they don't really do it much these days, but anyway, apparently in 1858 they ran a telegraph, cable and uh. They ran it between two countries, the transatlantic ones. So there's atlantic there's the two countries there's the reshack with their equipment in it, their morse code, keys and stuff like that, and they put an armored cable under the sea and connect them thinking. They're going to be able, then, to connect the morse code keys and send data to each other.

However, their problems once they'd put it in. They discovered that uh. There was a lot of disrupt distortion and electrical noise and it really disrupted. They couldn't easily actually just send their signal, and his theory is that, because the cable was an armored cable with the steel cores on the outside, and then it had the actual the conductors inside almost like a wire, armor cable.

His idea was that the reason that they couldn't communicate is because that electrical field, that's supposed to actually find alternative means, was being shunted by this uh grounded outer this uh metal outer layer acting as a screen. In reality, that would mean data cables, wouldn't work very well. However, let's go with it, because this is quite an interesting thing. There are so many variables that could affect this.

One of them is inductive effects, inductive resistive, capacitive and galvanic. In galvanic i mean the cable breaking and water getting in, let's discuss them all individually, another one uh here, if you run a cable between two zones, this is uh. Uh would be an interesting thing between to actually measure. I wonder if it's a real thing with a transatlantic cables.

I wonder what happens when they ground one end to one country, um and then sort of measure the vulture, because if you go into your garden, i don't recommend this experiment by the way, because it's quite a dangerous experiment. But if you go into your garden, there's your house with its earth electrode and there's another house, the neighbor's house, with an earth electrode um. If you connect a cable to ground in your house and then you go out into the garden with it. And if you do try this experiment, wear rubber gloves be very careful.

There is a reason that uh power tools for your garden are double insulated. They don't usually have an earth because, as soon as you walk away from this equipotential zone, you actually walk into another electrical zone. But if you were to measure the voltage with a meter from that wire to a rod stuck in the ground, you'd get a potential difference, and that could be for many things. It could, because this house is in a different substation or it could have electrical problems.

Be leaking current, there are so many variables, but you will find usually a low to some instance is high uh voltage and in some instances of an electrical network failure it will be the full mains voltage or more. It can be quite dramatic. So there is the the potential for a potential just starting off just by running a cable between two zones, the other one that comes to mind resistance. Did i honestly resistive at that shipping resistive the resistance of the wire would be a factor.

My guess is that their telecommunication system would literally have been a coil at one end: uh actuating, uh, sounder the two wires uh and they probably would appear from both ends, obviously, because that would allow two-way communication and literally a push button like that. I could be wrong, i don't know if they did it this way and then stack of batteries, i'm guessing that's what they might have done, but you'd have to allow for the fact that capacitance, along there and capacitance to the outer metal screen would be a factor. Galvanic um in the case of galvanic effects, if this cable actually got damaged while they're putting it in because it was a long time ago and it would be viable and salt water get in. It would bridge the potentially copper cores to the iron cores and create effectively a battery that would have created lots of electrical noise and hissing and swirling noises.

The other thing that could happen is an inductive effect where the ground, the earth actually radiates, signals all the time and uh to go with inductive effect. Initially, if you're heading towards a set of traffic lights, say, for instance, you're driving along the road um and there's a set of traffic lights here, beaming out light and there's a center in the road which is a sort of like, looks like a seven segment display. In pitch, someone's cut it into straight lines and then they've got a weak line coming off, that is the inductive sensor, cable for detecting vehicles, approaching the lights or sitting the lights, but the way they actually the reason it's got. That figure.

Eight effect is because it literally the cable loops around like a figure vape and goes back out like that. The reason for that is that the earth radiates magnetic fields all the time and if it radiates them onto this one, the ambient magnetic field will induce a magnetic field that direction say and that direction, but because it's a figure, eight and they've looped one round. The other way it will actually cancel its cancel them out. The watts looped in one detected by one loop will be cancelling out what's in the other group, and that way it's only affected when a vehicle crosses over and disrupts the frequency of the oscillator that they actually use to detect vehicles going back to the uh, the Screened cables and capacitance in the case of data cables like an rs485 network, if you've got say well, let's use theater lights.

We've got a lighting desk um, sending a signal along a data cable to a moving headlight, very crudely, drawn moving headlight and uh. The data cable in there you typically have the outer screen for the cable, which is reference to the zero volt rail on the circuit uh, and you have what's called a balanced pair where one is referenced as the plus and ones references minus. But what actually happens when you're transmitting data you're, not just turning the power on off like a morse key and battery, would you're actually alternating the polarity between those. So that means that any capacitive effects are actually being shunted immediately and the drivers that actually drive these have to actually sink and source quite high current to make sure they can submit data at a high enough speed.

There's also the networks are just hugely complex. I wonder if that's what they were discovering the hard way. The other thing you often find with a networks like this they're, a balance pair if it's a very long run and they'll actually go through either a transformer, or in this case it's a comparator designed to deal with a modest voltage difference and the reason for that Is that if you run it next to a cable that is inducing quite high voltage in that cable, it will induce in the same direction in both instances and because they're running together and that will effectively not influence the comparator result or the transform result. Because it's only looking for the positive negative differential, complex subject indeed see the the undersea cable was quite interesting, its own right, but didn't answer the question because i don't think that's actually why the signal was shunted out.

I think it's just they had problems, but veritasium. Also, then goes on to say: this is potentially why overhead lines say this is a tower electrical distribution term. We call them pylons here, but overhead lines are run high off the ground. For that reason, so there's the insulators there's the insulators and there's the cable sagging between them - and there is if this is the ground, is a ground.

Basically, it's got an earth reference, but the real reason they run them up high, like that there are capacitive effects. There's always going to be capacitive effects. In fact, if you actually stand underneath uh, one of these pylons not show an actual size and uh you hold up a fluorescent tube, don't touch the pylons, the tube in on a dark knight, if you hold it under the high voltage, cable, just even ground way Below the cables uh, it will potentially glow slightly with the radiated sort of uh field. The voltage gradient you get off that, but the primary reasons they run them overhead is because there are less losses than running it through a cable where this the screen, the the armor, would be coupling uh it's easier to install outdoors than digging huge trenches for miles.

It's also easier to maintain um and they also keep them up high off the ground. Just avoid people touching them. But when you consider that your local substation will eventually that will go to say a big transformer, there's the insulator on top - and it goes on to that, but at your local substation that comes from that transformer, the cable is potentially going to be an underground cable. With the armor and with individual cores for each of the phases, still a high voltage 11 kv supply will be actually about about 7 kv per core.

Then we've, thereby back again with this uh high voltage, cable, but with that core in the vicinity. So if the outer core was effectively shunting that field, you wouldn't really get much luck getting power to your substation, so um. I think the theory is wrong. I mean it's an interesting theory.

It's it's always good to keep your mind open to things like this, because everything is just theory and uh. All it takes is a slight. All it takes is some random wild card, some unexpected behavior of an electrical circuit in the future or a material that just displays completely non-compliant characteristics and suddenly all our electrical theories are just blowing out the window or we have to modify them to fit uh. And you know in some instances that could be quite serious changes or it could just be a very slight change.

It just happens to fit into the current theory, but that is my taking it. I think it's interesting, but ultimately i don't think it's the way. Energy is transferred along wires.

14 thoughts on “Some thoughts about veritasium’s electricity theory”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Seeking The Love That God Means says:

    Electric current flow needs the charged carriers that we know of (electrons, ions, holes, positrons, protons, antiprotons, elemental nuclei, etc.) to happen. The behavior of other electromagnetic phenomena, while they can be initiated by the motion or presence of these charged carriers, is possible to be, as they propagate from there, independent of those carriers.

    It is the peculiar makeup of our universe that leads to the situation that our scientific theories describe.

    There's no practical need in the electronic and electromagnetic realm we know to look for a deeper underpinning for Maxwell's equations before believing they apply. Might we know a different realm? Maybe. But we are already past the crudeness of a hand waving phlogiston theory. We can apply the math: Maxwell's equations quantify the phenomena quite well. Any more detailed underpinning should not refute Maxwell's equations.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars George Gonzalez says:

    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and unfoirtunately, almost everybody except Richard Feynman doesn't see the whole picture. Problem is, any circuit has electrons, E fields, B fields, and ExB fields, which can be modeled as waves or photons. There are like 67 different ways to interpret and model and misinterpret what is going on in terms of wires, or transmission lines, or circuits, or EM wave propagation– all of them at least partially right and useful models each and every one in a certain limited context, but not totally so.

    Mr V, who I've nicknamed my DimBulb, only scratches the surface and conflates several of the models into something mostly nonsensical. Shame, shame, shame, Mr. DimBulb.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars fersunk says:

    The Veritasium video is the classic Physicists vs Engineers mind set
    Of course we can calculate voltage and everything from Maxwell differential equations using calculus but only as an academic exercise (is a pain in the ass even if everyone was an engineer).
    We as engineers in real life use Kirchoff equations, Ohm's Law and the conventional current assumption from + to -.
    We need to be practical, that's our job, no just a bunch of differential equations and solving integrals

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Syn says:

    No. A photon at rest is said to have zero rest mass. Even then it is not zero but is dependent on the scale of measurement. A photon at rest can have infinite mass in which it gives rise to a black hole in the first instance. All that alters here is the frequency over time. If time is zero then frequency is Planck angular frequency. 1 over 1 implies static.
    Fundamentals. Consider if a photon were at rest would it exist? It's a all a matter of temporal releravistics.
    Edit
    Mass x velocity = (p) momentum
    Now look in the photoelectric effect. (Einsteins only Nobel) The photon has mass given frequency;)
    Should you wish to dig deeper see the debroglie wavelength.
    But ultimately frequency is energy which implies that energy is a pd that we tend to measure in angular frequency, angular veliocity and subsequently angular momentum.
    In effect particles do not exist either.

    All that exists are temporal differentia. We term it frequency but we must also apply mass to a radius with this in mind.
    Voltage is then measured in EV which is derived from angular frequency.
    A whole other world

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Chris Knight says:

    If you stand on Hampstead Heath Station platform westbound on the North London Line, with an umbrella, on a drizzly day, the overhead power lines (Alternating current 25 kV AC, 50 Hz.) induce a current in the metal spokes of the umbrella, which if ever come in contact with your scalp give you a painful buzz. I never carried a multimeter to or from work, but would like to see the effect of a) A good dry pair of Wellington boots which would show the capacitative current between earth to the hand-held umbrella, and b) rather damp, well-worn leather soled shoes for the mainly resistive current between earth to the hand-held umbrella antenna.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars InnSewerAnts says:

    I find the liberal use of the word theory (also/especially by veritasium) in this case .. annoying.
    The meaning and definition of "theory" is not the same in science as in colloquial use.
    Theory is just about as high, "true/factual" as things get in science. Veritasium has a hypothesis at best, not a theory.

    Deserving the label theory in science means you have a stack of testable predictions based on your hypothesis that when tested hold up. There's also no graduating above "theory", despite us nowadays knowing as fact germs are a thing and how they are involved in disease through microscopy etc., germ theory is still germ theory, so in science the word doesn't incite doubt, there's no "just a theory" derogative in science, it's a label requiring quite a bit to earn in the first place (or should require anyway)..

    (Basically the exact opposite of daily colloquial use…)

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Uwe Zimmermann says:

    About the speed of the electrons in the wire which you mentioned in the beginning: the speed of the electrons at moderate currents (~1A) in millimetre sized cables is as low as 8 cm/hour. During the 1/100 of a second during a halv-wave in 50 Hz ac current these electrons travel only about 250 nm – that's about twice the diameter of our hated corona viruses…

    The random wildcard you are looking for are standard 50 Ω and 75 Ω coaxial cables and waveguides, which can only be explained by the theory which Veritasium explains. And it's really not his theory – every university student in physics and electrical engineering is subjected to this part of electromagnetism.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hola! esecallum says:

    in vertasium video. 300000+300000+300000+300000= 12000000 =LENGTH OF CABLE=4 SECONDS for the bulb to go on. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light so it will take 4 seconds.
    The 1 meter is nonsense/deception/verbal trickery as the bulb will not light up visibly and will not stay lit as its a a very low power transient only applicable to a changing current. Think about when you switch on your house light in one room do the other bulbs in other rooms show any flicker or go on?

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Shanilla Abdul says:

    Fun when ppl with understanding of practical appliance think the simplified model they are have learned is how it actually works. The way u use theory proves u don't have a basic knowledge about science (not the first time either.) A scientific theory is a well established and tested model of reality. Field theory is a well proven and harshly tested theory that hasn't been disproven. Not quite the same as what u have an idea of something. Engineers often use simplified models, that work perfectly well, to help visualize things that are much more complex. Just because u don't understand something doesn't make your ideas comparable to established scientific therories.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars carlu bambi says:

    Everything we have been taught from high school to college and trade schools is a lie .Its all theory not fact .We just happened to develop some math that fits the observations ..From conventional ,to electron flow and hole flow .it's all wrong .Was questioning my trade school professor who happened to have a pair of those silver funny rings on his fingers ,who happens to be a multi millionaire and teaches Theory and controls for shits and giggles because he wants to teach .I asked him why are we generating power in the wrong way and wrong frequency .And he simply said it was the system they created and we are stuck using because that was the technology that was available at the time .Thank you Tesla and no thanks to Thomas Edison .
    Every conductor operates most efficiently at a specific frequency ,Copper at one Aluminium at another and silver at another .
    Tesla was correct for power transmission and Edison was correct for end use .Send out high frequency A/C and convert it to DC for end use .

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dave Pin says:

    Well done Clive. 100% correct. Lots missing of course (not being rude but public would never understand) anybody with aspirations to learn about electronics would do well to accept every comment you made and then research them.
    Yes it sounds conflicting and unlikely in places but Clive is exactly correct in every word spoken here.
    Why do valve audeo amplifiers need replacement KT66, KT88, EL84 etc output valves?
    Because the cathodes are pulled substantially negative and the anodes to positive, and the cathode gets stripped, because electron flow is from negative to positive UNLIKE the named "conventional current flow" that WRONGLY perports the current to travel from plus to minus.
    Just to make the crazy claim of power travelling outside the wire dead forever, consider 2 switches connected to 2 bulbs with their cabeling being co-located.
    How about 100 thousand switches controlling a 100 thousand bulbs with all cabeling co-located as in CNC, CAM systems etc.
    Why does the wire get hot if you dont uncoil an extention lead that is carrying power?
    Why does a cable of insuficient csa get hot if you draw a heavy current THROUGH it?
    Does water, sewerage or gas flow through space around the outside of the utility pipes?
    The www is full of numpties making stupid claims because it creates a higher click rate and hence financial reward than truthful honest people get.
    Clive DESERVES all his up-
    Thumbs and Subscribers.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars High Path says:

    Wonder how this compares to Tesla ? meanwhile I still find the maths of electrons – particulary in relation to Capacitors , interesting – it does not always work ( I am thinking both things like logs for the maths, rather than straight proportions – though squares of the increases in area or volume also occur, it also depends on the field of the plain of the electrons around the nucei – though at sizes greater than the single atom maybe that does not matter as the effective observed at and beyond a critical mass – and below things that are TOO massive the most likely scenario is the one that occurs ).

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars CKOD says:

    I knew Derek had pulled a thunderfoot and was talking outside his own expertise with authority when not informed correctly when A) "The light turns on in 1/C seconds because poynting vector" when the lightbulb would have no current though it so the cross-product of its own vector would be nothing initially, so not absorbing any energy. The energy coming out of the battery would be charging the wires, and some being radiated into free-space as an RF burst/EM wave. B)The 2 light-second-long loop would be tested for continuity instantly, which is obviously naughty and not how physics works. (I.e. put a switch 1/2 light second out at the end of one arm, when you connect the battery, it needs to be determined if that switch is open or closed before DC current starts to flow, so its at least one second before that information (I.e. the edge of the voltage wave on the wire) comes back to you.

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars john morgan says:

    Of course something doesn't become an established scientific theory, until it has been suggested, there has been testing/experimentation on it, review by others in the field over time, it then becomes established (simplified way it works). Which is why some ideas that get suggested don't get anywhere, lets say this is how electricity works, you would need some way of establishing it, which would mean some way of measuring something we not be able to yet. Unlike flat earth, where they say but it is our theory, dismissing evidence from photographs from space and earth based observation, but say yes you have your theory, we have ours, but one is supported and one isn't.

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