Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Are the electrons moving like this in conductor with current?

  1. May 26, 2007 #1
    Are the electrons moving like this in conductor with current? I mean are they jumping from atom to atom (roughly said)? Why they are jumping from outer orbital to outer orbital when all outer orbitals in all of the atoms in conductor have same energy? Look the picture. Imagine that, the electron is jumping from atom to atom (infinite number of atoms). Look at the picture.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 26, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I know that people here have told you this before, but in a *conductor*, the outermost electrons are *nearly free* electrons, meaning that they are not bound to any particular atom, but are free to move about through the material. That having been said, their dynamics are affected by the presence of the periodic potential due to the nuclei. This falls into the realm of solid state physics, which is quite complicated and requires some knowledge of quantum mechanics. That having been said, there are some classical models that talk about the movement of conduction electrons (known as "drift"), and you should look them up (in books, not online!)
    Last edited: May 27, 2007
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?