1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Heating Effect of a Wire

  1. Sep 29, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    This is not entirely a homework question but more a question about a homework assignment. We were asked to find out why a filament of a bulb heats up by talking about microscopic ideas. This is a link to a website that contains the relevant information under the heading 'higher tier only'


    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I just wanted to ask if the electrons collide with metal IONS or metal ATOMS. I have found other sources that have said the electrons collide with the metal atoms and surely only one is correct. I thought a metal ion is when an atom has completely had an electron removed. I thought conductors just have electrons that are free to drift rather than electrons that have been completely removed?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    The metal atoms are ionized in the metal. Their outermost electrons leave their parent atoms and belong to the whole metal, moving about freely.
    Ion is a charged particle, it contains more or less electrons than there are protons in the nucleus. The metal is usually neutral, the electrons are not completely removed from it, they are removed only from the atoms.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted