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Q & A: random electron motion

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Most recent answer: 04/22/2013
Q:
in an uncharged metallic conductor at rest some of the electrons are moving randomly, why ? my doubt is that, it is a charge less metallic conductor.so there is no flow of electrons.but here they told that the electrons are randomly moving why? what is the reason ?
- gayathri (age 16)
tamilnadu
A:
There's no special secret for electrons. Everything has some random motion. Thermometers give one way of measuring how much random motion there is. High temperature means the little parts are jiggling around more. This happens because there are many more states with things moving around than there are states with everything locked in place. What is sort of special about the electrons in conductors is that they can move rather quickly across a material, rather than just jiggling around in a small region, like atoms in a solid.

Mike W.

(published on 04/22/2013)

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