The flow is what “electricity” does not refer to. (Physics defines electricity as the charge. This is the electrons. Electric current is not electricity. Instead, it is a FLOW OF some existing electricity. All electricity generated by the metal. The electricity does not disappear when the flow is stopped. Instead, it stops in place. The water doesn’t disappear when a water-flow is stopped. “Electricity” acts a lot like a pre-filled water hose.
Many grade-school textbooks misunderstand electricity. They define charge as current and teach us that the “water” in the “hose” disappears when it stops moving. It’s almost like telling people that pipes don’t have water; instead, they only contain current. Or that everyone knows that the atmosphere is made up of molecules of wind.
Electrons? Yes, electric currents in metals are flows from the metals’ electrons. Yes, electron-flows are almost all that make up the electric currents within solid, unmoving materials, as well as those in resistors and vacuum tubes. These materials contain electrons that are moving.
However, none of the electrical currents found inside our bodies are electron flows.
Salty meat does not contain any free electrons. Salty meat does not contain any free electrons. No electrons. Electric currents can be described as “flows of electricity” and include all types of charge. The type of conductor will determine the types of charged flowing.
Acids have flows of protons in their electric currents. This is something we might forget in chemistry class. Our textbooks refer to protons as “positive hydrogenions H +.”)”. So when your car’s battery puts out hundreds of amps to start the engine it is made up of proton-flows within the battery-acid.
The ground produces electric currents that are very similar to salt water. They’re ion flows, mostly of charged sodium and chlorine atoms. Except if the ground is acidic. If that is the case, the currents in your ground are also partly proton-flows.
The currents in wires aren’t actually electron-flows. They are the difference between flows of movable electrons and copper’s own protons. The electrons move when we move the wire. Is that not an electric current? What are the moving electrons? Because also protons move simultaneously, and they cancel each other out, where any wire that is physically moving does not create electricity. Instead, currents are differential motions of the proton-flows minus the electron flows.
Proton-only flows can be created! We can cause electrons to halt by slowly rotating an operating circuit backwards. The entire electric current is now a proton flow, with the positive copper nuclei moving and the electron-sea not. This proves that the current within wires wasn’t just a flow electrons. Electric current was actually a relative flow of electrons and protons, called proton-motion MINUS electron movement. (Electric current, an abstract concept, is a differential flow.
Electric current can be described as a relative charge flow, and not a single-charged particle motion. If current were electron-flow, then any wire moving would produce enormous amperes. However, current in proton-beams and vacuum tubes is only one polarity. The conductor, however, is composed of both positives and negs everywhere else. If used as teaching-examples, proton beams and CRT tube can cause confusion. Use salt water and metal wires.
Separate topic: Electricity, according to the scientific definition of this word, is the quantity known as electric charge. That’s how Maxwell/Faraday/Thompson/Millikan/Einstein/etc. All of them have defined Electricity. Modern definitions of Electricity include electrons. It can also be protons and the many charged atoms (ions), present in acidic or salicylic liquids. We wouldn’t consider electricity a flow of electrons. Electricity is more than a flow rate. A quantity of electricity is not motion. Instead, we would correctly say that electricity flows are a flow electrons. All metals contain movable electricity. Metals can be compared to water tanks and hoses that were pre-filled with water. There are no bubbles. A closed circuit of metals forms an electric ring with no beginning or ending. An electric current forces the metals’ electricity to move in a closed loop like a flywheel. This is called a “complete circle”.
Therefore, “electricity” doesn’t refer to a moving motion of charges.
Electricity is actually the charge itself. Electric currents, which are charged by electricity, are the flow of “electricity,” the same word as “charge”.
Let’s get back to the original question on electrons. Yes, electrons flow in metals. But, electricity doesn’t always flow. Acids are home to protons, while ions move in the ground and human tissues. Electrons and ions also flow in sparks and other plasmas.
Here’s some disturbing/enlightening trivia: during Ben Franklin’s famous kite experiment, for his conductor he used slightly-humid twine in damp air. Twine is not a metal, and it has no free electrons. Twine may be a bit salty? But more likely, Franklin’s kite-twine was conductive in the same way as are wood and paper: an acidic conductor, containing mobile H+ ions (movable protons.) This means that (gasp!) when Franklin was gathering some thunderstorm leakage-currents in order to charge his Leyden-jar capacitor …those currents were probably made of proton-flows! So, Franklin was right all along?! His “electric fluid” was made of positive charges?!!! Heh, except when the metal foils in Leyden jars were involved.