# Electric field inside a conducting wire

## Main Question or Discussion Point

The electric field in a 2.5mm×2.5mm square aluminum wire is 2.1×10−2 V/m . What is the current in the wire?

But my question is according to Gauss law, the electric field inside the conductor is zero. then how come this question says
"The electric field in a 2.5mm×2.5mm square aluminum wire is 2.1×10−2 V/m "

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cnh1995
Homework Helper
Gold Member
according to Gauss law, the electric field inside the conductor is zero
This is true only in electrostatic equilibrium. When you connect a voltage source across a conductor, there will be a non-zero electric field inside the conductor and it will drive a current through the conductor such that current density J=σ*E, where σ is the conductivity of the material.

Last edited:
Dale
Mentor
according to Gauss law, the electric field inside the conductor is zero
The response from @cnh1995 is correct, but may have left you wondering if Gauss law is violated. It is not. Gauss's law tells us that if there is no charge inside a surface then the net flux is 0. Inside a conducting wire there is flux, but there is just as much flux going in and going out, so the net flux is zero. Gauss's law holds.

• Mohammed Shoaib and cnh1995
Thanks a lot for clearing my confusion.