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Thread: Do electrons really move?

  1. #1 Do electrons really move? 
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    A very good day to all

    What i was wondering about was whether electrons actually move in a conductor or its just the magnetic field disturbance that propagates all through, in the form of electrical current in a conductor?

    One of my physics professors claim on that electeons just occilate a bit more wildly, when subjected to potential difference. This "jerk" changes their magnetic field thus inducing a "magnetic jerk" in the next electron. In the identical fashion the "magnetic field" 'flows' in a conductor as ---
    ELECTRIC CURRENT.
    is this approach correct? Or electrons do physically move rather than just 'wobbling' around?



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  3. #2  
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    They move - Evidence? Current flow through a vacuum! - cathode ray device. Perhaps even the screen you are looking at! It's called an electron Beam.


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    Forum Ph.D. william's Avatar
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    I concur with billco.
    Especially in DC circuits. In an AC circuit you may feel free to think of our little negative buddies as oscillating. But they move there too.

    Perhaps your prof. was talking about an insulator????

    Also, what you say he said kind of sounds like 'cooper pairs' but I'm sure he wasn't talking about that.

    Cheers,
    william
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    A very thankyou William n Billco

    Actually my prof. is arguing about "conductors" itself and rather i presented him with my views that e- really do move

    He urges at the propagation of electricity in the form of the EM field, but I
    dont agree, as the "band theory" of conduction as well as the crystalline structure of metal, precisely of conductors, do not coincide with his explanations.

    Today he will provide some "written evidence" to his approach of electrical conduction.

    I will tell u also about the same ..


    Thanks
    n
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by neoneurons
    A very thankyou William n Billco

    Actually my prof. is arguing about "conductors" itself and rather i presented him with my views that e- really do move

    He urges at the propagation of electricity in the form of the EM field, but I
    dont agree, as the "band theory" of conduction as well as the crystalline structure of metal, precisely of conductors, do not coincide with his explanations.

    Today he will provide some "written evidence" to his approach of electrical conduction.
    I will tell u also about the same ..


    Thanks
    n


    My point was that the electrons in the beam are travelling between the cathode and anode (conductors) via the vacuum. Since the cathode is 'losing' electrons (as they take one giant leap into the vaccuum) they must be flowing through it. Just like the end of a hosepipe -if there is water coming out then there is water flowing through. for hosepipe read conductor ie cathode.

    I often give incomplete replies hoping that my audience will make the connection. I'd get a big electron gun and shoot or fire your Prof. If he has a controversial theory and it's any good he should try it out amongst his peers and NOT amongst students who will only be confused by it.

    I must add however my own understanding of this is fixed at a pre-Hawking era, the model of electron behavior I have, has always worked for me. This was formulated before the "BIG JOKE" theory came into existence, that is 'let's see just how much crap we can string out and get away with, without any proof' also known as 'The Emporer's clothes'
    (that's the one that say's 'only stupid people can't see it' so everbody admits they can see it.

    These theories contain worm-holes, white-holes, time-machines, warps, hawking-radiation, string-theory, [most of]Quantum physics, etc etc.
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    My question is more how they move. Could someone tell me if wave/particle theory applies? I presume that it does.

    Do they move at a uniform speed, regardless of potential difference?
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  8. #7  
    Forum Senior silkworm's Avatar
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    Yes, they move. Any basic chemistry or physics education will clue you in.

    Actually the incandescent lightbulb works due to heat cause by electron movement.
    "I would as soon vomit over him as buy him a hamburger."-Ophiolite about Richard Dawkins

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ72
    My question is more how they move. Could someone tell me if wave/particle theory applies? I presume that it does.

    Do they move at a uniform speed, regardless of potential difference?
    I don't believe that it is "speed" or velocity that needs concern. Rather it is the amount of electrons moving past a certain point in the time period of one second, or the quantity of charge "flowing" past a point by a current of one ampere for one second. 1 coulomb basically equals 6.28 x 10^18 electrons.
    The higher the amperage, the more electrons "flowing" past this arbitrary point.
    .
    .
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    Cogito, ergo doleo.

    There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
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    Actually my prof. is arguing about "conductors" itself and rather i presented him with my views that e- really do move
    Of course they move, without movement, there is no charge.
    But he's probably talking about free movement vs. movement through a conductor. Through say, a copper wire, electrons don't "move" very much. They pass charge more than they actually "flow." They sort of flow and they sort of don't.

    Think of it this way. Take 10 balls and line them up side by side in a straight line. If you strike the first ball, energy is transfered through each subsequent ball until it reaches the end of the line. The last ball will be knocked out of place while the others more or less stay stationary.
    That's sort of how it works with conductors, but it's not the rule or the exception.
    .
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    Cogito, ergo doleo.

    There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
    Oscar Levant
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    Whether vector or scalar, I would be interested to know if, like light, all electrons moving within a vacum move with a uniform "velocity", or do they move at differing rates depending on the potetial difference they are between? I acknowledge the at least equal importance of the quantity of electrons.

    If constant, what is "The speed of electrons"?

    Do they, like light, remain at a constant velocity relative to you, even if the source is moving relative to you.

    There, that was a lot of typing to re-ask one question.
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    If constant, what is "The speed of electrons"?
    Invalid question. That question required classical mechanic. Can't use it in the quantum world. The electron have different position all the time and different velociity. The radius of the atom is decieded to be where the chance of finding the electron within is 90%
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ72
    Whether vector or scalar, I would be interested to know if, like light, all electrons moving within a vacum move with a uniform "velocity", or do they move at differing rates depending on the potetial difference they are between? I acknowledge the at least equal importance of the quantity of electrons.

    If constant, what is "The speed of electrons"?

    Do they, like light, remain at a constant velocity relative to you, even if the source is moving relative to you.

    There, that was a lot of typing to re-ask one question.
    Speed of electrons in a vacuum primarily depends upon electric field strength which depends upon potential difference. THe quantity of electrons does not affect speed (qty of electrons is basically how much current there is).

    Electrons in a vacuum may approach but never reach the speed of light.

    and your last question (moving relative etc) Is out of my realm.
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    Wouldn't velocity of electrons be immesurable due to the uncertainty principle?
    .
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    Cogito, ergo doleo.

    There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
    Oscar Levant
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaveatLector
    Wouldn't velocity of electrons be immesurable due to the uncertainty principle?
    For doleo try aspirin!

    and may you 'sum' soon.
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    Wouldn't velocity of electrons be immesurable due to the uncertainty principle?
    you can know its velocity with 100% accuracy, but you dont have a clue where it is. and vice versal
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelos
    Wouldn't velocity of electrons be immesurable due to the uncertainty principle?
    you can know its velocity with 100% accuracy, but you dont have a clue where it is. and vice versal
    Then if you don't know where it is, how can you know it's direction?
    .
    .
    .
    Cogito, ergo doleo.

    There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
    Oscar Levant
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  18. #17  
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    For doleo try aspirin!
    When did aspirin become an antidepressant?
    .
    .
    .
    Cogito, ergo doleo.

    There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
    Oscar Levant
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  19. #18  
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    position and velocity is 2 different things
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaveatLector
    For doleo try aspirin!
    When did aspirin become an antidepressant?
    Aspirin is reckoned to be an anti-coagulant. Depression is reckoned to increase one's chance of heart attack.

    "doleo ergo acetylsalicylic acid non mortem"
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    Hi neoneurons,
    Read up on the 'Hall effect' and see if you can come up with any good questions for your prof. relating this to your original question....

    Cheers,
    william
    "... the polhode rolls without slipping on the herpolhode lying in the invariable plane."
    ~Footnote in Goldstein's Mechanics, 3rd ed. p. 202
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelos
    position and velocity is 2 different things
    But velocity implies direction, does it not?
    .
    .
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    Cogito, ergo doleo.

    There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
    Oscar Levant
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by billco
    Quote Originally Posted by CaveatLector
    For doleo try aspirin!
    When did aspirin become an antidepressant?
    Aspirin is reckoned to be an anti-coagulant. Depression is reckoned to increase one's chance of heart attack.

    "doleo ergo acetylsalicylic acid non mortem"
    Well, as far as I know, there's no cure for a gunshot wound to the head. Non non mortem.
    .
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    Cogito, ergo doleo.

    There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
    Oscar Levant
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  24. #23  
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    But velocity implies direction, does it not?
    yes, but you don't need position for that
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

    The king of posting
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaveatLector
    Quote Originally Posted by billco
    Quote Originally Posted by CaveatLector
    For doleo try aspirin!
    When did aspirin become an antidepressant?
    Aspirin is reckoned to be an anti-coagulant. Depression is reckoned to increase one's chance of heart attack.

    "doleo ergo acetylsalicylic acid non mortem"
    Well, as far as I know, there's no cure for a gunshot wound to the head. Non non mortem.
    Yes I guess you're right, come to think of it, if I was right Kennedy would have been sent home with a bottle of aspirin.

    Caesar non cogito ergo Caesar mortuus!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelos
    But velocity implies direction, does it not?
    yes, but you don't need position for that
    Thanks for helping me understand.
    But I'm having trouble comprehending how you can know direction without position. Is it that the uncertainty priciple deals with speed and position, when direction is implied through the current flow, or something similar? Does direction even need to be discussed?
    .
    .
    .
    Cogito, ergo doleo.

    There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
    Oscar Levant
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  27. #26  
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    Thanks for helping me understand.
    But I'm having trouble comprehending how you can know direction without position. Is it that the uncertainty priciple deals with speed and position, when direction is implied through the current flow, or something similar? Does direction even need to be discussed?
    direction is irrelevant.
    Negotiation is irrelevant(Borg )
    uncertainty priciple deals with speed and position. You don´t need position to know speed and with instruments you dont need to know speed to know position. If you know both you can predict where it iwll be thou

    uncertainty priciple deals also with another thing, with energy and time
    in this case it says dE energy can exist under dT time and both of them shall equal(or almost) to h/4pi
    this is a rule that goes against conservation laws since that energy is created and destroyed. But its for so little time it don´t effect normal life
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

    The king of posting
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  28. #27  
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    Got it, thanks.
    I'm certainly not familiar with phenomenon that violate the laws of thermodynamics, so I'll leave that one alone.

    Thanks again.
    .
    .
    .
    Cogito, ergo doleo.

    There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
    Oscar Levant
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  29. #28  
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    no problem
    the violation is so small and for such a short period of time you won´t notice it except by radioactive decay
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

    The king of posting
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