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A simple hands on hypotesis / thought experiment / question /

  1. Sep 18, 2011 #1
    A simple hands on hypotesis / thought experiment / question / :)

    Hi, first I'd like to say that I've been trying to understand the way electricity works for some time now and thanks to the really great articles of William J Beaty, I really think I'm starting to grasp this stuff now..

    Now, so I've understood that while the transfer of energy happens at the speed of light, the actaul electrons doesn't move very fast at all, it's sort of like using a stick to poke a light switch at the other side of the room. The part of the stick that's in your hands doesn't move very fast or far, but the action is instantaneous. And then a though accured to me, does the movement in the stick, even tho it's solid, also propagate at the speed of light? eg;

    when you push the leftmost end, there will be a delay before the smily gets poked in the eye

    push_____________________________________________________________:)

    In my mind this should be the case, since if nothing can exeed the speed of light, neither should the forces that holds the atoms and matter together.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2011 #2
    Re: A simple hands on hypotesis / thought experiment / question / :)

    Absolutely!

    The forces between atoms in the stick are primarily electromagnetic; no different (in nature) to those between electrons in a conductor.
     
  4. Sep 18, 2011 #3
    Re: A simple hands on hypotesis / thought experiment / question / :)

    The force would be propagated at the speed of sound in the stick.
     
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