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An electric current can be defined as charge in motion. Normally when we think of electric currents, we think of electrons moving through a conducting wire. However, a positively charged gas, moving through space would also be a current. Any charged object or particle in motion constitutes an electric current.

For a current to be significant, it must have a large number of similarly charged particles, all moving at a similar velocity. The analogy is that of a river of charged particles.

For the purpose of definition, it has been decided that the direction of a current is that of a positive ion in motion. This means that when we have electrons moving through a wire in one direction, the current is by definition in the other direction.

The reason for this is the curious fact that a current always generates a magnetic field around it in such a way that if we hold our right hand thumb in the direction of the current, our fingers fold in the direction of the magnetic field. This is known as Ampère’s right-hand grip rule.

Ampère's right-hand grip rule
Ampère's right-hand grip rule

It does not matter if the current is due to positive ions moving from right to left, or electrons moving left to right. The magnetic field will always circle the current as if it was caused by positive ions moving from right to left.

This indifference of the magnetic field to whether the electric current is caused by electrons moving in one direction or positive ions moving in the opposite direction is at first glance puzzling. However, once we understand the effect that charges in motion have on zero-point photons, the mystery solves itself.

A positive charge moving in one direction will set zero-point photons spinning around it in a manner identical to that of a negative charge moving in the opposite direction.

The magnetic field accompanying all and every electric current can be explained entirely in terms of zero-point photons being polarized and set spinning.

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