I am not sure if this a silly question, but I read a grounding book today that was talking about breakers. The book stated that the breaker remembers what amp rating it has, and that it counts the electrons, and if more pass the breaker then is supposed to, it trips. I was under the impression that a breaker worked on ambient temperature componsated bi-metal strip, and it was the heat generated by the amps flowing beyond the rating that cuased it to trip. I would dismiss it as ludicrous, but it was in a well respected electrical series. Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks, Gary
As of this point today, May 8th 2007, it is still electron theory. Most scientists are fairly certain of the structure of atoms, and of course the theory holds up quite well for us electricians, and electricity seems to work within the bounds of the theory, but it is still theory, until we can slow one down to have a good look at it, if we could see stuff that small.
Yeah, lol. Per second sorry I forgot to put that, lol.
Now about that book, is it a green one that has IEEE on it? I remember looking at that book once and it was all formulas, electrons, etc. Very confusing.
Breakers are rated in amps, which are a certain number of electrons per second. Breakers don't count the amps (or electrons that make the amps) like 1 - 2 - 3 - 4...etc. They count them in the manner of a reaction. They react to them, either by effecting the bi-metalic strip or by electro magnets, which trip the breaker at the desired setting, just like you said.
So just think of it as a reaction, not counting.
I'm not a scientist or anything but thats how I look at it. Hope it helps!
Try asking Scott to explain it down in the electrical theory section. He knows his stuff and he would give you the best desciption for sure.
Boy this is rich. In 28 years i have never considered this but Yes breakers do react to electron flow at a specific rate and react to the calories produced by the friction of the electrons through the bi metal strip. This is why my eyes glazed over in physics class. I got A+ avg in Electrical theory in High school but passed physics at the gift of the teacher. I almost failed physics electrical theory. Good question for a physicist.