Lecture 8

Lecture 8 - PEP112 Spring 2008 Prof. Svetlana Malinovskaya...

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PEP112 – Spring 2008 Prof. Svetlana Malinovskaya 11 February 2008 Current and Conductivity
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The Electron Current If we collect two plates with a wire they get discharged. The wire is a conductor. We define a current as a motion of a charge through the conductor. How it happens?
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Charge Carriers Does positive charge move to the negative plate, or does negative charge move to the positive plate? The charges that move in a current-carrying conductor are called charge carriers. The charge carriers in metals are electrons. Other conductors such as solutions or semiconductors have different charge carriers. In most metals each atom contributes one valence electron to the sea of electrons.
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Calculating the Electron Current • Motion of entire sea of electrons in one direction takes place at what we’ll call the drift speed. The drift speed is quite small, 10 -4 m/s. • Let’s define the electron current i to be as the number of electrons per second that pass through a cross section of a wire or other conductor. • The units of electron current is s -1 .
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Lecture 8 - PEP112 Spring 2008 Prof. Svetlana Malinovskaya...

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