Current Sources and Sinks

Current sources and sinks are analysis formalisms which distinguish points, areas, or volumes through which current enters or exits a system. While current sources or sinks are abstract elements used for analysis, generally they have physical counterparts in real-world applications; e.g. the anode or cathode in a battery. In all cases, each of the opposing terms (source or sink) may refer to the same object, depending on the perspective of the observer and the sign convention being used; there is no intrinsic difference between a source and a sink.

In some cases, the term current source refers to a boundary where current flows from locations where it is not measured to locations where it is measured. In a similar fashion, a current sink may refer to the boundary where current flows from locations where it is measured to locations where it is not measured. By analogy to the flow of water, a current source would be like a mountain spring - water flows from its source (a hidden location underground) to the surface where it is easily observed. Using the same analogy, a current sink would be like water flowing down a drain - water travels from where it is observed to where it is not observed.

In Simple Sink current is the total current consumption on each lines required for operation (Taking from other devices) and source current is the current at which it can able drive the devices which is connected on each lines (Supplying to the other devices). In design the sink and source current plays a major role so proper clarification is required.

Shown at right is a general two-compartment model to help illustrate the definition of current sources or sinks. In this two-compartment model, the compartments are separated by a semi-conductive barrier (gray). An observer, symbolized by the eye, can "see" only one compartment at a time. Red arrows indicate the direction of flow of positive charges, while black arrows indicate the direction of flow of negative charges. The pink and green backgrounds are meant to symbolize different configurations, configuration 1 when charges are flowing in one direction and configuration 2 when they are flowing in the opposite direction. The difference between the left and right panels is simply the location of the "eye".

A source or a sink is defined by which compartment is viewable by the observer.

  • A source is:
    • A flow of positive charges from the "invisible" to the "visible" compartment (i.e. toward the eye), or...
    • A flow of negative charges from the "visible" to the "invisible" (away from the eye).
  • A sink is:
    • A flow of positive charges "away from the eye", or...
    • A flow of negative charges "toward the eye".

In biology, the schematic barrier in the figure could represent a cell membrane, and as a result, the two compartments could represent the inside and the outside of the cell. Generally speaking the point of observation would be outside the cell. Thus the cell would be termed a sink with respect to any flow of positive charges into it, and the cell would act as a source for any positive charges flowing out of it. Note that when considering the flow of negative charges, the definitions are reversed.

Read more about Current Sources And Sinks:  Current Sources and Sinks in Neurobiology, Current Source Density Analysis

Other articles related to "current sources and sinks, current source, sink, current":

Current Sources And Sinks - Current Source Density Analysis
... Current source density analysis (which could more accurately be called current source and sink density analysis) is the practice of placing a microelectrode ... quickly across a plasma membrane to the inside of a cell (sink) this creates a transient cloud of negativity in the vicinity of the sink ... the positive charge needed to compensate the negativity caused by the current sink ...

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