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 https://Lutron.com/veritasium

Further analysis of the large circuit is available here: https://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: https://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: https://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.

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References:
A great video about the Poynting vector by the Science Asylum: https://youtu.be/C7tQJ42nGno

Sefton, I. M. (2002). Understanding electricity and circuits: What the text books don’t tell you. In Science Teachers’ Workshop. -- https://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. -- https://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. -- https://ve42.co/Muller2012

Galili, I., & Goihbarg, E. (2005). Energy transfer in electrical circuits: A qualitative account. American journal of physics, 73(2), 141-144. -- https://ve42.co/Galili2004

Deno, D. W. (1976). Transmission line fields. IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems, 95(5), 1600-1611. -- https://ve42.co/Deno76

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