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Question about flow of electrons along wire.

  1. Jul 7, 2013 #1
    I know that electrons flow across the wire from the source to the receiver, but would it be possible to keep these electrons on the wire after disconnecting the source and receiver?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 7, 2013 #2
    There are always about 1.38*10^22 conduction electrons (1 for each copper atom) in every gram of copper whatever you do with it.
  4. Jul 7, 2013 #3


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    When you connect a garden hose to a tap an turn it on water starts flowing down the pipe rapidly from source to receiver. This is NOT how it works for electricity.

    For electricity it's better to think of the hose as already full of water (wire already full of electrons). Then when the tap is opened water comes out at the receiver almost immediately.

    Although electrons start coming out soon after a voltage is applied they actually travel very slowly down the wire. If I remember correctly typical speeds are only a few cm per second. What makes electricity so powerful is the sheer number of them not their velocity.
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