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Flow of electron electricity

  1. Aug 12, 2012 #1
    I want to know if the flow of electron act like a domino effect where 1 electron enter 1 atom than 1 extra electron of that atom is ejected and so on or is it the same electron that move from where the current is produce to your home.
     
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  3. Aug 12, 2012 #2

    russ_watters

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    It's the first one, though there is a transmission delay that makes it much more like a wave.
     
  4. Aug 13, 2012 #3
    Wave is a self propagating moving disturbance I think it is different than moving electron.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  5. Aug 13, 2012 #4

    russ_watters

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    I think I explained that poorly: it is only the start of the motion that is wavelike. If you have a tube filled with ping pong balls and you push a ping pong ball into one end, one drops out the other end. At first glance, this may appear to be instantaneous, but it isn't. The motion starts as a wave propagating through the balls.
     
  6. Aug 13, 2012 #5

    BruceW

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    yeah, the electron doesn't need to go all the way around the circuit to start powering a lightbulb. It is as russ said, the electrons at one end get pushed, and these electrons push other electrons, which means that after a (very) short amount of time, all the electrons start moving around in a circuit.

    Also, in a conductor, there are electrons which are not associated with any atom, they are (almost completely) free electrons, these are the ones which are the charge carriers. So it is not really true that the electrons are going from atom to atom, more that they travel past the atoms.
     
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