Look at the image at (http://sub.allaboutcircuits.com/images/00082.png). Ignoring all the resistors in the diagram and assuming that the charged particles flow as arrows show, why does the electric potential/voltage decrease from point 4 to 3 to 2 to 1? I thought that the electric potential/voltage will be higher at point 3 than point 4 as the distance between the positive end of the battery and point 3 is further than the distance between the positive end of the battery and point 4?
Figure 1. Circuit.
- Yes, electron flow is from the negative terminal. However, conventional current flow was established well before the discovery of the electron (by J.J.Thomson discovered in 1897) as from + to - and we still use this for practical applications while keeping the true charge flow in the back of our minds. Current flow is in the direction of the red arrow on Figure 1.
- We need to take some point as reference on our circuit. Battery negative is the usual choice.
- The point of maximum potential is node 1.
- The potential decreases from 1 to 2, from 2 to 3 and from 3 to 4 as per resistor ratio. For example, if R1 = R2 and R3 = R1 + R2 then the potential at node 3 = Vbat/2 and potential at node 2 = 3/4 Vbat.
So your understanding is correct apart from conventional current flow. Without a link to the article it's difficult to know what caused your confusion.