The Big Misconception About Electricity


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

Further analysis of the large circuit is available here:

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:

Special thanks to Dr Robert Olsen for his expertise. He quite literally wrote the book on transmission lines, which you can find here:

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:

Sefton, I. M. (2002). Understanding electricity and circuits: What the text books don’t tell you. In Science Teachers’ Workshop. --

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. --

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. --

Galili, I., & Goihbarg, E. (2005). Energy transfer in electrical circuits: A qualitative account. American journal of physics, 73(2), 141-144. --

Deno, D. W. (1976). Transmission line fields. IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems, 95(5), 1600-1611. --

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