The Big Misconception About Electricity
- YouTube video
- Is this really a big hidden secret?
- There is nothing incorrect but…
- Problems with the explanation
- Lack of context
- Doesn’t go far enough on the explanation and would leave new hobbyist asking more questions then it answered
- Light bulb question at the beginning of the video
- How long does it take for a light bulb to turn on if the wires connecting it are a light-second long.
- Parker’s quick “practical” answer
- “Instant” You are pushing the already existing electrons in the wire. An electron doesn’t have to flow all the way around?
- Dave Jones’ response?
- Does this damage Veritasium’s image for Electrical engineers?
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!
About The Hosts
Parker Dillmann is MacroFab's Co-Founder, and Lead ECE with backgrounds in Embedded System Design, and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. He also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas.
Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Host 1 00:10
Hello, and welcome to the macro fab engineering podcast. We are your host, Stephen Gregg,
Host 2 00:16
And Parker Dolman.
Host 1 00:17
This is episode 305. At the end of last week, Parker brought up a YouTube video that had recently released that neither one of us had saw, but it had a kind of a an interesting title. It was definitely very click Beatty. Yeah, it is click Beatty. And so it's something that we both were like, Okay, we're gonna watch this and then and then comment on it if if there's something there. And what's interesting is a lot of people I've been noticing have also watched this and be like, Oh, we have we have to talk about this, because there's stuff to talk about here. So the title of this video is the big misconception about electricity. And it's done by Veritasium. Which Veritasium is a channel that does a whole lot of like science and some engineering and in physics based videos that have some really cool, well, it's very well produced. And a lot of times, it's really well thought out most of the time, it's really well thought out. And a lot of a lot of content that's just like, Oh, that's cool. I didn't know that. It's really interesting. So this video, the big misconception about electricity is basically talking about effectively, it's set up as in one of those, everything you thought was wrong kind of situations.
Host 2 01:37
And it deals with our realm. Yeah, I like that word. A cool word for it. But then you said realm, and I'm like, oh, yeah, that's actually perfect.
Host 1 01:50
It will. Okay, so it deals with with circuits, and specifically the transmission of energy in, in any electrical circuit. So we'll have a link up to it. I think that I just looked at it earlier. Let me see here, it currently has, like seven and a half million views. So it's not an insignificant video, there's, there's quite a bit of people watching this. So the basis of this video is talking about how energy flows in a circuit. And sort of the, the ideas around that. And so this is, these are the concepts that are that are put in this video or presented in this video, I want to come out and just say like, there's no big misconception here. There's no big new thing that's being presented here. And and this is all stuff that we have learned in electrical engineering. In fact, if you go to college for electrical engineering, this is actually some of the first stuff you learn before you go and do the stuff that everyone thinks is electrical engineering, you start with what are the fundamentals? So the interesting thing about this video is in talking about how energy flows in a circuit, it's not as intuitive as you think or, and and it's not as simple or as simple, right? Yeah,
Host 2 03:23
I think better words, instead of intuitive, the concept of
Host 1 03:27
Energy, and I'm choosing that word very specifically, because that that's the key word there is is energy, energy doesn't necessarily or doesn't flow through your wires in your circuit. That's like the basis of what this video is going at. Now, there's a lot more in this video. And there's, there's a handful of other topics that are brought up there. But effectively the the concept of this video is talking about or trying to make you come to this revelation that like everything you've been doing with circuits is wrong or everything you've thought about circuits is wrong. It's like the energy doesn't actually flow down the wires. It flows in this like magical space realm, around every space between
Host 2 04:11
Host 1 04:12
Yeah, and it's like okay, like, sure. Here's the thing, what is said in this video there to my knowledge, nothing is actually wrong with what said nothing is false in this video, nothing is false, right. So yes, it is and like I said, if you go to college for electrical engineering, in fact, I would actually make this argument if you go to college for a honest to god II degree. This is one of the few things that is actually different than if you go to college for an E T degree that's engineering technology. Electrical engineers spend time in the physical academic world, whereas Engineering Technology Uh, I'm sorry, not physical physics. World is what I'm going to. But Engineering Technology students tend to go more towards like, we're going right towards practical. So most engineering, a double electrical engineering coursework starts with the fundamentals and all your physics and mathematics classes, where you learn about electromagnetism. And you learn about, like em fields, and you learn about pointing vectors, and you learn about how energy flows in the EM fields. And then you promptly stop using that, because you go into the more practical world of things. And it's not to say that any of that is wrong, but I believe what, what we're what's really misleading about this whole video that's even has misconception in the in the title is that it's like Veritasium is trying to teach you something that they've been lying to you about, like this big, like, like big electricity is not telling you the truth about, you know, like, and no, that's that's not true. Like everything that that's being said, it's
Host 2 06:12
Really a Lizard Man.
Host 1 06:15
Right? Yeah, lizard. Like, this is all correct. But there's reasons why we don't immediately go to thinking about circuits in this way. And most of those reasons are, we have found simpler ways to conceptualize what happens in a circuit that still gets the end result that we're going for. And, and allows you to kind of bypass these more academic and difficult concepts. Or, or more like fast track towards the answer that you're going at. So yes, in a lot of ways, thinking that energy flows down wires is incorrect of from a physics standpoint, it's useful to use it that way, it's useful to consider it that way. And that sort of boils down to the biggest gripe I have about this video, like this is it's funny, because like, this is one of those videos where everything is right. And I'm still like, I don't like it. Because I think it's the clickbait Enos of this video drives towards like, you're going to click on this because I'm going to reveal something to you that like, nobody knows. But now you will, because you've clicked on this. And sure, fine, that's cool. Like, it's fun to blow people's minds in that sense. But you also need to have in a video like this, you need to have justification as to why we don't talk about this on a regular basis, you need to say, but, you know, although like this is the, the truth of how the world actually functions. In practice, we don't do it this way, because it's unbelievably cumbersome. And the times that you actually need to really unlock or utilize this knowledge of how things actually work tends to be edge cases. Whereas you like your everyday engineering, your everyday circuit circuitry, even the wiring in your house, you can accomplish it by thinking about it, in terms of energy flowing and wires. And it makes things a lot easier, it also makes things a lot easier to work with people who don't have that knowledge. So I'm kinda have a gripe about like, considering this to be some kind of like, secret unlocked thing that didn't exist before this video. So Parker just watched this video before the episode. So I'm curious to get your thoughts on it.
Host 2 08:51
So my, my big thing is, it's how, there's an example at the very beginning of the video, where it's, you have a light bulb and a battery, and then one light second of cabling connecting all that together, so that when you flip the switch, what he's what the presenter is trying to instill in your mind that an electron would have when you flip the switch and electron would have to travel a light seconds away from the battery around the wire bend and then a light second back, right. And, and he's like, in, there's like a list of like, choices of like, you know, half a second one seconds, like one divided by C which is Lightspeed, right? And all these other things, and then it's like, none of the above and, and, and he asks the the person asks, What would your answer be and write it down. So at the end of the video, we could, you know, you could learn something right. So I wrote mine down when I said, I put it in quotes instead And then I actually wrote down my explanation too, because I had another point, I haven't even watched the video, right? I wrote down my explanation in the practical way, why it's instance, because a lot of people would say think, when you turn on the battery, the, the electricity has to flow all the way through the wire and then into the light bulb and turn on, and then all the way back around into the battery, right? Whereas it's very interesting, we had a very similar discussion of this of like, AC current and DC current, and how it works on a fundamental level, where an AC current, how does work get done in AC current? Because the electrons are just jiggling on the wire, right? Back and forth. And whereas DC you're like, Okay, it's like, you can think of DC current as like, as, as a water hose, right? Because everything's flow in one direction. And you can, you can, you can take a water hose and push stuff around outside, like dirt and, you know, toys and stuff like that. But AC, if the water is oscillating back and forth, how does it even how does it work? Well, if you apply that concept, I guess to this, well, when you flick the switch, one electron bumps into the next electron all the way down the chain, and then instantly turns on light pole. It's like that idea where like, you're sitting at the red light. And you're like, you've been sitting at that red light for like three cycles, because like someone's like, on their phone, or like not paying attention. It's like, if everyone just right went turn green, and everyone just stepped on the gas at once, you would all make it through, if everyone moved at the same time, you get through the red light. So when the switch gets flipped, in the practical sense, you know, I was never the best at the theory side of electrical engineering. So I'm gonna throw that out there. But this is how I thought about it is when the switch gets flipped. It's instant, in quotes, because there's some delay, right? Because as things start moving, is not instant. But all the electrons start moving in that wire at once. You're not putting more electrons into that wire, than well, I shouldn't say you're not putting more in the net change of electrons in the wire is zero. Mean, one electron goes into it. One pops out the other side back into the battery.
Host 1 12:35
You mean in terms of like
Host 2 12:35
Quantity? Yeah, and the quantity? Yeah.
Host 1 12:40
Well, um, yeah. So they go through that entire example. Which is, well, that's that they use
Host 2 12:47
That example to, like, justify, that's the EM the EM fuel or, or electrical energy fields that turn it on, whereas you and they do it by having this explanation that a electron has to travel this huge circuits. And that's why it's not the electron that's doing it. Right. Right, which is completely that comparison is false, because the net change in the you're not forcing more electrons into that wire than the wire can handle.
Host 1 13:21
Well, and yeah, the the speed at which an electron actually flows through a wire is very slow, really slow. So if you Okay, so if you want to do tag one electron, and then have it go through that entire what lights hack second worth of wire? You'd be sitting there for a long time?
Host 2 13:41
I can't remember the name for that. That effect, but yes, because the electrons are moving. But the thing is, when they start moving, they're all moving in the wire at once. So that's why it lights up instantly.
Host 1 13:54
Yeah, it's a few meters per hour, right? I think that yeah, it's very slow. Yeah, the drift velocity is what what it's called? Yeah.
Host 2 14:04
And you can make that faster with more voltage, which is why you get more current. So that's why I didn't like was that comparison, because it wasn't a fair comparison of what's actually happening on the Electron side, like the actual flow of electrons wasn't properly set up, because that's not how that doesn't take a long time because the electrons gotta go away around. That's That's why
Host 1 14:31
Yeah, and that's that's sort of where the, the concept
Host 2 14:36
Falls apart. Or at least like the misconception, in misconception part. Yes. Because it's not the reason why it's instant isn't properly explained correctly. It would that example
Host 1 14:47
Well, and your instant is in quotes, because it's not actually instant. Yeah.
Host 2 14:52
And they even say it's not instant. They even say that there's a propagation delay.
Host 1 14:59
Yes, and Hey, and given Dave Jones from the Eevee blog has his whole his own video watching all of this. So I walked through all that and Dave Jones points out a really interesting thing that's in there. So the the answer to the question that they have, that they propose there is one divided by c one divided by the speed of light is the answer there. But it's only one divided by see if the spacing between the wires is one meter, because they, they, they conveniently didn't show the units in there. It's one meter divided by the speed of light. Even though like if you look at their their image that they have like detail, say one meter, it says one meter it does, but the answer doesn't have one meter in it. And it has to do with you remember back in electromagnet, magnetism, glass or whatever transmission lines with transmission lines you have to take the spacing into account with with when determining all this. So the answer is one meter divided by C is is the, when the bulb will turn on effectively. So that's, that's the almost instant time effect. But so there's there's another diagram that they that they show, that's a really simple one, that's a battery, a wire going over to a light bulb, and then a wire going back to the battery effectively your ground wire right. And, and the whole idea is to show the E and the B fields in the wire, how they interact worry, how they interact and how energy flows from the battery to the, to the source, or the load, which is the light bulb through the EM field. And that's really cool. But I kind of had a little bit of a funny gripe, because a lot of this feels like that person who's like, I'm actually, you know, like that hole, I'm actually it doesn't flow in the wires, it flows in the EM field like sure, yeah, buddy, like cool. Like we got it. If you didn't know that, it's a really interesting thing. But like so the the the idea of like, energy flowing out of the walls, or the sides of the batteries, and then flowing in the walls or sides of the load. If we really wanted to get super pedantic about this and do even more like I'm actually like, in their diagrams, they're considering the battery to be a single point in space. And then the all the wires to have negligible resistance, and then the light bulb do have a single point in space. So their diagram that they have only applies if you if you start to boil this all down, which, hey, that's exactly what we do on a daily basis, we boil all this down to make it more simple. So like even in there like this, this, this is like a fine monogram. Well, yeah, like even in their diagram, they have to simplify it to make their point. And that's the whole thing that I'm going at is like, we've simplified electronics down to the level that they're at, such that we can deal with them without having to work through all this madness. And I say madness, because it's it. It's not intuitive. And if Okay, so here's the thing. That's funny, at least in my experience, I'm curious about yours, Parker, we learned all of this in school, I learned it in physics two, specifically, we revisited a small portion of it in my electromagnetism class. That's it. That's, that's the total amount of all of this is I had to prove that I could do it for a physicist, because the physicist was really, really, really specific about like, pointing vectors and energy flow and things like that. But then as soon as I got to electrical engineering classes, like we never mentioned it. And
Host 2 18:48
I think actually, the only time I have an actual electrical engineering class is actually when I took solid state design. It because that covered magnetism. And that was it. Sure. And that was like, I think maybe I think we did like a month on that. It was basically a refresher of what we learned in physics to make sure that we can apply it to electrical engineering, basically, that was it.
Host 1 19:16
Right, right. So yeah, like this whole concept of the right hand rule and like, e cross V, gives you your pointing vector and things. Like that's, it's great and it's nice to know, and it's, it's, it's good to know when talking about, like EMF and things like the pointing vector of energy exiting a wire, or traveling in whichever direction like these are, these are important things to know. You know, another thing that Dave Jones kind of harps on in this video is not talking about the skin effect and how that affects everything. But the
Host 2 19:53
Because that's how AC AC current functions is on on the skin effect.
Host 1 19:58
Yeah, right. Right. So the the idea. So energy doesn't flow unless you complete the circuit. We're very, we're going down to very basic concepts. Yeah,
Host 2 20:13
You can't we still don't have wireless battery technology yet.
Host 1 20:18
Right? Right. So energy doesn't flow unless we complete the circuit. And the way we complete the circuit, is we literally connect conductors to, from, from our source to our load. And those, that's the basics that I wish I heard from this video. But instead, it was like, these wires are not where the things live. Yeah, that's true. That's the wires are not where the energy exists. But that's how the energy starts flowing. Like, we actually have to have moving electrons and moving charges to make this function. It's just the energy is not transmitted directly down the actual physical copper,
Host 2 21:00
You don't want to be interesting to is my biggest hang up with this video, is they also don't explain how so on the receiving end, okay? Or like, how do these waves I mean, I know because the electrons moving create these waves, but they just they just say these waves are created, right? It's not from the flow of electrons, they don't say that. And it would be nice on the other end to on like the load end, for them to explain how those waves get converted into an instance, a light bulb, you know, the elements are the tungsten heating up, right, the produce lights. Explain how the B and E waves get converted into that, if that's truly where the energy is coming from? They should be able to explain that.
Host 1 22:01
Yeah, I mean, it's hard to do in a 14 minute video explaining something that like a knowledge, you know,
Host 2 22:08
But that I think that would go a long ways to helping people understand this concept. Because actually, what I would like to see see is actually a breakdown of like, if, like, what percentages of, of your energy, let's say you're spinning a motor. Okay? So you have you have your eight, and this is take like AC synchronous motor, and you have a load on it. How much of your energy is coming from the electrons jiggling around at 60 Hertz? How much is it? How much is it from the alternate E and B fields? What percentage is those are like actually calculated out? I haven't actually seen that or did that in college didn't do that at all. I think actually, like, I'm actually thinking about this stuff back in college. And we never even talked about that. We talked about like, if a wire as that ball of voltage and like has this much current flow. What's the E and B fields? Like calculate that? That's like it really? Like? Did we even do any more than that? I can't think of anything.
Host 1 23:22
Well, I mean, the thing is, like, we touched on things of that sort in physics, too. Or it was physics too. For me, it might have been something else for you. But But yeah, we touched on these things. And I remember coaxial cables in physics, we did a lot of work on coaxial cables. And that was that was about it and but all of it was just Yeah, calculate the field and the B field and these things Yeah, yeah, it'd be interesting
Host 2 23:49
To actually look into because I don't know is how do those EMB fuels convert into rotational energy and enhance the motor? Like I know how if you were treating it as the electrons flowing, how that turns the motor I actually know how that works.
Host 1 24:13
Well, the flow of electrons creates a magnetic field which has attraction to the rotor, right?
Host 2 24:19
Yes, but if most of your energy is in the E and V fields and not in electrons flowing, then how is that E V field being converted into rotating energy? Basically,
Host 1 24:33
I can see that getting very complex very fast. I know I that's why I'm interested in it, like almost almost so much so that it's like, like, you would you would need some kind of really interesting finite element analysis, software to like, diagram and show a 3d model of all the fields right.
Host 2 24:54
I wouldn't even say that we would actually at the heart calculated. I'm just saying like, Oh, Let's look at like, what percentages? Like, what percentage is actually the electrons doing the work? What percentage is the E and B and EB field will be at some ratio? Actually, they'll probably there is a ratio probably. Between all three of those actually is what's actually going on.
Host 1 25:21
I'm not sure if
Host 2 25:22
That's what that's what I was looking at. I was hoping at the end of the video, I was hoping to see that like, how these EMV fields like actually do the work. Right? Because not everything is, you know, not, not everything works on magnets.
Host 1 25:48
I think that yeah, yeah.
Host 2 25:50
I think that was like the though I take that back actually thinking about it. Pretty much everything works on electronic wise, everything works on a charge differential, which is the magnets, when you think about it. So Nevermind. Forget all I just said.
Host 1 26:06
Yeah. And I think even those, those who are probably steeped in this a bit more, even from just listening to us can be like, yeah, obviously, we just took it in physics to write because, you know, we're not we're not necessarily speaking with a huge amount of authority on this. But that's the whole thing. Like, do we need to have a super intimate knowledge of it that says that we could pull this out at any point in time? Is that necessary for a W E? And the answer is, I don't think so. No, I don't think we're still able to get our jobs done. You know,
Host 2 26:42
It really depends on what you're doing. And if if, if what you're designing actually, this, this effect starts mattering. Which is probably the, you know, I've never done any of it. But probably the RF. We always say RF engineers know the voodoo. This is probably the voodoo.
Host 1 27:07
Oh, yeah, this Yeah, for sure. When you start talking about transmission lines, I'm like, Oh, I have bad memories of those back in in school. But that's awesome. This isn't even like the Voodoo in terms of like, if you know this, you now now it changes anything. This doesn't change anything. Anything. This is literally just saying like the energy flows in a different way than you thought. Or then perhaps you've been told before.
Host 2 27:33
Yeah. And so before I jump into what I'm about to say is DEF CON in Twitch chat says, I just opened up my physics to lecture notes from two years ago. And I'm glad we don't do this every day. Bingo exam. But what I was gonna say is, I'm picking apart the video, am I being too being too harsh on the video? Because the reasons this the presenter gives, that breaks, like it's the flow, the whole idea is the presenter is trying to dispel that's the electrons doing the work. Okay. Which is true. Okay, right. It's the it's the EB fields, right? Well, the electrons started. And then EB folds.
Host 1 28:19
Yeah, I was about to say like, it's all connected. You can't say it's
Host 2 28:23
Connected. But they go through, like at the very beginning, with like, saying the electron has to go all the way around and this big copper wire before it lifts up lipo that's not how electrons flow in a wire. It doesn't have to wait that one to go away around. I mean, it's just, it's a conga line and that wire but on top of that, they were talking about how transmission lines have transformers which are air gaps. And so that electron can't make it all the way. Well, yes, and no, the transformer is coupling another electron to itself. So it's moving another electron it's so it's not like it's magically you know, not moving an electron around it still is it's still move. It's so it's still jiggling at 60 Hertz.
Host 1 29:18
That's all of electronics. It's yeah, movement of charges. Like that's everything right
Host 2 29:24
And so or Well, partially there's also a movement of holes
Host 1 29:30
When I was looking this up earlier today charges and and in semiconductor physics holes are I'm using big air quotes here charges.
Host 2 29:41
Yeah, you're right. You're right. You're right. You're right. There are charges I was thinking charges is just electrons. But you're right.
Host 1 29:46
No, yeah. Because because, like it, it's not just electrons that that are electricity. It's like 99.999% of the time it is but like, you know, if you move something else that has a charge like that's current to
Host 2 29:59
Yes. Yes, yes. Yeah. So, yeah, so like the the explanations that the, the presenter was trying to break this notion, it's, it's, it can't be electrons because there's air gaps. And it would take, you know, three seconds or two seconds for like electrons to go around this big wire. And just like that. Well, that's just, that's not how that part of the physics work, though. Yeah, it's my biggest hang up with it.
Host 1 30:31
I could see what you're talking about. Because there's a section about where they're talking about AC current. And he talks about how Oh, it has to chase he current Yeah.
Host 2 30:37
Which is actually a really, in he haven't says it's a really good, really good visual aid of how it works.
Host 1 30:46
Yeah. And then he goes, but it doesn't work this way. Or that's all wrong. No, not really. That's the thing that like, the Okay. It depends on how you define wrong. Like, if you are extremely strict, then sure it's wrong. But it's I don't think it's helpful or useful to be that way. Because I guess the like the takeaway from this video, if you think about, like, your house being powered from a power plant, it's like, yeah, there's transformers in between your you and your house. So it's not flowing through there. It's these magical lines that extend out of the power plate and go to your house, because that's all I'm holding,
Host 2 31:25
You can draw that as,
Host 1 31:28
Like art. That's so not useful. That's really unusable. And the problem is like somebody who like might just be like cruising through YouTube, and like, picnics and chips and about electronics, and then they see that and say, they're a hobbyist level electronics person trying to get into it. Now, they're super confused. Now, they're just unbelievably confused. Because there's like, this magic like world out there where power flows through it, or sorry, energy flows through it. And no, there's no connection between like, Yes, this is how it works. But nobody does it this way.
Host 2 32:04
Yeah, it's um, it's how like, if you go, if you if you live near high, high power transmission lines, and you hold a fluorescent light bulb out, it will light up, right? Because that's it. That's the light bulb base, or the fluorescent interacting with the the EB fields, probably the E field, not the B field. I don't think they're magnetically coupled. But it's, I would say, actually, if people watch us, they might be even more afraid of like, power.
Host 1 32:40
Yeah, right. Yeah. Because Because it could be flowing through me and not the wire that
Host 2 32:45
Host 1 32:48
Which I suppose is technically correct. Right,
Host 2 32:51
Is technically correct. It's very interesting to think about how much like how much power is just being like radiating around all the time. Oh, and just you just happen to not be conducting it. Because you're because you're not hooked up to it.
Host 1 33:06
Right. So, craft lab in the chat brings up a good point, we still use Newtonian physics, we use it because it's useful. You could make a video saying, well, actually Newton was wrong. But who who cares, right? The math is useful. And there's plenty of situations where Newtonian physics falls apart and is wrong. But we use it because the parts where it does work, it is very useful, and it's simplifies things.
Host 2 33:37
Yep. It works when stuff is normal, human sized, right? Yeah. When stuff gets really, really big or really, really small is when it doesn't really work.
Host 1 33:50
Or I mean, I'm sure you've heard the word non newtonian fluids, like catch O is a non newtonian fluid, right? It doesn't follow the rules. But and that's human size, I suppose.
Host 2 34:01
Yeah, I guess so. Okay, there's one edge case.
Host 1 34:05
Well, it doesn't Newtonian physics is really elegant and works well for like for planets, like it's pretty easy to calculate. You know, how fast you have to go to orbit? A, a planet, you know, what is it? G M one m two over R squared? Oh, you know, body problem, two body problem, that kind of stuff. Newtonian physics works fantastic for that. And, you know, using Newtonian physics, we got some people to the moon. Like, it's because it's useful because we do it that way. But like, I guess you could just actually and and then screw everything up. I'm sorry, not screw everything up, but make it more confusing than it needs to be.
Host 2 34:47
Yeah, so I want to see a video that dives into more into I guess the engineering side of like, how do these fields actually generate work? Hmm, I guess we have formulas because all our formulas that describe how energy turns into work, deal with current, because you're treating the energy flow, the electrons as the things doing work. I actually, I guess what you do is you take, you probably take those same formulas, and then instead of amperage, there's probably some formula that does like the electron flow. And but the EB fields go into that, and then that equals amperage or something like that. So it's probably something like that.
Host 1 35:34
I think you're starting to ask much more difficult questions like on my quantum levels, you know, maybe in like high energy, quantum
Host 2 35:44
Well, like definitely higher physics three stuff.
Host 1 35:50
Well, like, the whole the whole concept that like, how does the the electromagnetic field know that the source, like the battery, or the load exists? Like, how does it know those kinds of things? You know, and I think that's starting to get more into the quantum
Host 2 36:05
World? Well. So it's like one of those, like, what comes first the electron moving or the field? The answer is no. And yes,
Host 1 36:16
The answer is,
Host 2 36:20
Yes. Both. They both exist at the same time. It's like when the electron starts moving, it generates an E field. But you also have to have the field to make the electron move.
Host 1 36:30
I think it will. It's more like when the electron moves, it disturbs the field.
Host 2 36:36
You're actually yeah, because this is all about. I'm thinking about absolutes, where it's actually relative. It's it's a flux, the field flux and be fuel flux. Well, that note that goes back to the electron traveling the big ol wire, it's relative, right? Because it's, you're disturbing the electrons that are already in the wire.
Host 1 37:03
Right, right. But I guess the instantaneous. What is it jolt? I don't know what the right word is, like the second you connect the battery to this light second? Well, the second Yeah, like that instantaneous moment, like the field? In a way travels? I don't know, like now we're getting into now we're getting to the limits of what we could talk about.
Host 2 37:32
No, no, that's what I was talking about earlier is like, there's already old electrons. If it's like, let's say it's copper, all the electrons that that wire once. And it's life is in that wire already. And so when you push one electron into it, another one's got pop out the other side?
Host 1 37:54
I, I think there's a plus minus conditions. Yeah, there's some conditions to that. I think you can, you know, if there are holes, you can shove more into them if there are, but that's, but I get what you mean. Yeah. Like, that's
Host 2 38:09
How AC current in quotes, works. Unquote. It's the EB fields, right. But how electrons move is, yeah. Anything about
Host 1 38:24
The disturbance of the E field is the work that you're talking about, effectively? Yeah, moving an electron through that field. Causes work. That's why AC current, you know, the the, it does work in both directions, it doesn't matter which way it's flowing, right? Hence, why we use RMS for all of our AC calculations and average, because then you'd get zero for everything, right? Yeah, you get zero otherwise, great. I don't know. Like I would be really curious to if people go check this video out, and then give your thoughts in, in our channel, because we've talked about some similar stuff. We had a pretty nice conversation, Parker mentioned it earlier about AC versus DC, just in general. And like, what does it mean?
Host 2 39:14
That conversation is a lot of fun. Especially from like a, like a sub definition standpoint. Because when Steven i on the podcast, or when you talk to other engineers, like when you have a steady, steady state voltage. People will say that's DC. But then when you have a signal, they will go AC, regardless of what the signal is.
Host 1 39:45
Sure, or like, I guess your argument was, if the signal is like on a scope is entirely in the positive quadrant, and never crossed.
Host 2 39:55
I'm not even saying that is I'm just saying is what we generally say and I do the same thing. into, like, if it's a signal you, I think it's also people, not people in general, but like engineers, and electrical engineers in general, will say, think of an analog signal as AC. And so this this conception of regardless, if it's not steady state, then it's AC, it's a signal by Wiggles, right? Which is true. But when you actually dig into what the definition of alternating current is, it's a sink, it's a, it's a, it has to cross a zero point. Basically, the idea of AC definition of it is the A, you were talking about the flow of electrons and a wire, meaning that the net position of an electron is zero, and AC,
Host 1 40:53
In like, classic pure AC,
Host 2 40:57
When you just say AC, so otherwise, you have to have a different term for it, like noise. Some people will say noise is AC, whereas, you know, it doesn't have a zero across the board. So if you just took it AC coupled it, it might be AC, right. And it might be perfectly cyclical. No balanced, you mean? Yeah.
Host 1 41:20
Yeah, yeah. Well, and and using other terms, like, DC and ripple. Is that, is that AC with a DC offset? Or is that? Well, do you see that jiggles a little bit?
Host 2 41:36
I think is Do you see that jiggles a bit? Or we just call it ripple? Because that's actually what should be called?
Host 1 41:42
Well, and but it would also depend on what your reference point is, if you make Yeah, the DC point, your reference, then by the classic definition, you could call it AC?
Host 2 41:52
Yes, yeah. If you make that your reference, and yes, you're correct.
Host 1 41:55
Yeah. But the datasheet is not going to call it out of that.
Host 2 42:00
No, no. So that was a very interesting discussion we had in Slack about all this. I will stand by, if you're if you're going to pick zero as your reference point zero volts, then AC has to cross a zero at equal amplitude, basically. But if you pick DC, if you have a DC with a AC ripple on it, you have to you have to be able to measure that, if you're going to call it AC, you got to measure it at your at your offset. So you can be technically correct both ways. It's an engineering fun,
Host 1 42:36
It's fun, because we can argue about the most simple of things, right?
Host 2 42:40
Well, we think they're simple. are not simple, I guess in terms of how does an E and B field actually do work on like, produce, I need to look into that I want to see how does. How do we take a a, like, let's say a light bulb? And how do you expand that out to be the end field as well, instead of just current? Like what what is more to ohms? Law? What's What are you i What are you?
Host 2 43:23
So I guess we're gonna put off talking about bench equipments next week, because we're already at 43 minutes.
Host 1 43:31
Put it off two weeks in a row. Yeah. Yeah, I felt like this would be a good topic to cover. So as just a general recap, the video is all correct. The videos are factually correct. The the gripe I have is I think that there wasn't enough chat about this is not the way we do it.
Host 2 43:52
I agree there. And also I will put on the reasons why the presenter says they're not correct. or incorrect.
Host 1 44:03
Or needs more definition or more work. Yes, yeah. Or explanation listed. Put it that way. I think,
Host 2 44:13
Maybe but the two reasons that the presenter gives that is, it's not the electron doing the work or is wrong.
Host 1 44:21
It would be fun to have a physicist on who lives in this world and wants everything to be this world to kind of like chat about the are to said,
Host 2 44:30
I would get my answer on what's more two ohms long. What's more to like? I want to know how those fields would really affect let's say if we had to CAC if we wanted to calculate it out that way. How would that change our our what'd you say realm?
Host 1 44:54
Yeah, sure. Well, Kingdom Yeah, the I just don't think like these these concepts are difficult because we don't. We're not steeped in them every day. Oh, nice. GraphLab says next topic, the electromagnetic weak theory. And if we will ever achieve the Grand Unified Field Theory, wouldn't that be nice? I've seen some, like proposed grand unified field theories. And like the single equation for Grand Unified Field Theory is like, you know, 20 pages long for just like this equals that kind of thing. Myself, miso, on a, I personally don't believe that we will reach grand unified theory, I think that there will always be mysteries in the universe for us to continue to uncover.
Host 2 45:47
You know, I was actually back when the, the Boson was discovered, like actually measured and, and discovered, that was like, what, five, six years ago? Something like that? Oh, you mean the
Host 1 46:03
Host 2 46:04
Higgs? Yeah, Higgs. When that was finally measured, because they knew about it, they just couldn't measure it and see it's Yeah, I mean, it was theorized to exist. Yeah, there was exist. Back when that was happening, I was thinking about this. And because what what ends up eating, a lot of like, theoretical to practical is, is parasitic drag, right? resistance, impedance, capacitance, all those other stuff that that is really hard to measure, because it's so small. Well, what if that kind of stuff also exists? It probably does. This is just me completely bullshitting everyone out there. This is what I was thinking about is, on a smallest level, those kinds of things probably still exist. And so that's probably why these grand unified equations, field theories just don't end up panning out. Because you have to take account of all that stuff. Whereas when you get to a big enough scale, those forces kind of wash out, right? I guess Yeah. And so when you get to, that we were talking about earlier about Newtonian physics, where like, if you get really, really big, and really, really small, Newtonian physics don't work. Right?
Host 1 47:32
Oh, yeah. It's kind of like an on a much more like simple level, if you make a paper airplane and you throw it, it'll fly. But if you make a paper airplane out of paper, the size of a 747 Ain't gonna fly, because things are different at that scale.
Host 2 47:45
Well, that's what I was, I was trying to explain that to myself, like, five, six years ago, yeah. And I never even looked into it past me just like, like, having a glass of whiskey and staring into a fire. Right. I was just thinking to myself deep thoughts. And I was like, well, that's actually probably to myself, I was like, that's probably actually, what hangs it up is, when you start getting to those extremes of size, basically, other forces that you wouldn't really have to pay attention to start to take more torque start to affect more, it's like when you talk about like, high speed data, signals and stuff. And on circuit boards, most of the time, when you're dealing with low speed, even like, you know, up to like, a couple of 100 megahertz or like, actually even higher than that, like, you can probably go up to like 600. Anyways, besides that, you started to worry about impedance of your traces, or wearing a lot more about them, or worrying well, because that always exists. But it only starts effect, when you start going to one extreme. Let's say you're starting to crank frequency up. And so now you have to start, you start seeing more reflections in your signal lines, not kinds of so you actually have
Host 1 49:03
A propagation delay, your traces to your memory have to be synced in time. Yeah. So
Host 2 49:09
Once you start cranking those knobs up, you just have to start adding in. You can't just use Ohms law, you have to use impedance now to CAC to run your equations. That's probably more simplified. There's probably some I don't know if we have any actual theoretical physicists that listen. But I hope there are because I'm hoping that my ideas, it's probably never it's probably been totally thought of but like, my understanding of it, I'm hoping is so close, is that there's other forces that are either really hard to measure or we don't fully understand that taking more facts and physics. So you can probably have a USA at home 20 Page equation that actually covers everything. But you have to understand every single one of those pieces. And where 99% of time, you don't have to worry about it. And Newtonian physics works.
Host 1 50:12
I think I think the big goal is, instead of having this massive equation that has a bunch of addition terms, where it's like this thing, plus this thing, plus this thing, you know, 500 times equals the world where, you know, if you're considering some aspect of the equation, everything else goes to zero such that you're one addition term that you care about is the thing you're calculating. That doesn't feel as elegant as what I think the grand unified theory, people want it to be. They want it to be this one thing, that's not just a whole bunch of strings of
Host 2 50:50
Likes, they probably want something that's equals MC squared, something like that. Well,
Host 1 50:55
I mean, it would be amazing if the world was that simple. But But yeah, the I mean, that's what people would like, I think humans would enjoy having something where it's like, we can do everything that this way,
Host 2 51:06
It's going to be some 20 Page equation that is solving for every single kind of force that's out there. Basically,
Host 1 51:16
Eight Yeah, right. And then a little, because it comes that way.
Host 2 51:21
When you think it is I think it's awesome. But when that's the way it is, is your Ohms law isn't going to change if that exists, because in that ginormous equation is ohms law somewhere drifts in there, right.
Host 1 51:40
All of it, everything is in there. That's the whole point. Right? Yeah. So but I think it would be so it would be so unbelievably massive and complex, that it wouldn't be useful. It would just it would almost be like a giant exercise in we did it. Like we understand.
Host 2 52:01
It's not saying it's useful. It's a really good way of understanding how everything interacts with each other. Right. And I think that's very important.
Host 1 52:11
Oh, for sure. I think we should continue to explore those boundaries, as you know, as far as we possibly can.
Host 2 52:18
So that was the macro engineering podcast and we're your host Parker Dolan and Steven
Host 1 52:25
Gregg. Later one, take it easy
Transcribed by https://otter.ai