# Distribution of current in a conductive plate

• papernuke
In summary, the conversation discusses the current flow through a conductive metal plate in a circuit and how it varies within the plate. The current density distribution is complex and depends on the geometry and resistivity of the plate. It may require a numerical solution. Touching the leads of an ammeter to the plate would alter the current flow, but using the resistivity of the metal and a voltmeter can provide a good estimate of the flow between two points.
papernuke
There's a circuit with voltage source V resistance R and current i.
One section of the circuit has a conductive 'plate' element, connected like this:

-----wire-------metal plate------wire----rest of circuit

How does the current through the plate vary within the plate? I'm fairly certain the current would decrease as you moved up or down away from the axis of the wire, but decrease in what manner?

The current density distribution is actually going to be quite complex. The current exiting the wire would spread out, and then bunch up together before entering the other wire. The total distribution is such that it minimizes the net resistance of the metal plate. Solution will depend on geometry and resistivity of the plate. And I'm not sure if there is an analytic solution or if you have to do this one numerically.

Is there a way to physically determine current in a small section of the plate? Would it work to simply to touch the leads of ammeter to the plate, a small distance apart?

Nope. You'd alter the current flow dramatically if you do that because ammeter has very low resistance. But if you touch the needles of a voltmeter very close together on the plate, you can get a good estimate of the current flow between these two points by using the resistivity of the metal in question.

Oh, right
Thanks for the help!

## What is the distribution of current in a conductive plate?

The distribution of current in a conductive plate is the way in which electrical current flows through the plate. This can vary depending on factors such as the shape and size of the plate, as well as the material it is made of.

## How is the distribution of current affected by the shape of the conductive plate?

The shape of a conductive plate can have a significant impact on the distribution of current. For example, a plate with a circular shape will have a more evenly distributed current compared to a plate with a rectangular shape, which may have areas of higher and lower current density.

## What role does the material of the conductive plate play in the distribution of current?

The material of the conductive plate can also affect the distribution of current. Materials with higher conductivity, such as copper, will have a more uniform distribution of current compared to materials with lower conductivity, such as steel.

## How does the size of the conductive plate impact the distribution of current?

The size of the conductive plate can also influence the distribution of current. A larger plate will typically have a more even distribution of current compared to a smaller plate, which may have areas of higher and lower current density.

## What factors can cause uneven distribution of current in a conductive plate?

Several factors can cause uneven distribution of current in a conductive plate, including irregularities in the plate's surface, variations in the material's conductivity, and the presence of other conductive objects nearby that can affect the flow of current.

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