Conductors without real world particles

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do conductors have to be thought of in terms of protons and electrons?

We can think of charged objects as continuous charge distributions for example without reference to any sort of real world particles. This is much simpler to grasp for me.

Is the same sort of thing done for conductors, or must we think of them in terms of real world particles?
 

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  • #2
davenn
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We can think of charged objects as continuous charge distributions for example without reference to any sort of real world particles.
electrons ARE the charge carriers ( and in some less common cases the protons ... semiconductor physics)

Is the same sort of thing done for conductors, or must we think of them in terms of real world particles?
I don't of how we couldn't consider that as the case
 
  • #3
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electrons ARE the charge carriers ( and in some less common cases the protons ... semiconductor physics)



I don't of how we couldn't consider that as the case
But when we think of continuous charge distributions we aren’t thinking of electrons. If something was made of a finite number of particles it couldn’t really be continuous could it be ?
 
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davenn
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But when we think of continuous charge distributions we aren’t thinking of electrons. If something was made of a finite number of particles it couldn’t really be continuous could it be ?

of course it is .... I have a piece of copper wire in my hand ... it has a finite length, diameter, number of atoms of protons and electrons
 
  • #5
jtbell
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Currents are often dealt with in terms of a continuous current density ##\vec J##, just like we often use a continuous charge density ##\rho##. It's easier than dealing with a bazillion point particles moving with some average velocity ##\vec v##.

Look up Maxwell's equations if you haven't seen them already. They're written in terms of continuous ##\vec J## and ##\rho##. When we want to deal with point particles, we express ##\rho## using Dirac delta functions.
 
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ZapperZ
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do conductors have to be thought of in terms of protons and electrons?

We can think of charged objects as continuous charge distributions for example without reference to any sort of real world particles. This is much simpler to grasp for me.

Is the same sort of thing done for conductors, or must we think of them in terms of real world particles?
This is a very odd and puzzling question, considering that Maxwell equations already deal with continuous charge distribution and continuous current flow.

Zz.
 
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