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Continue reading...Introduction

The direct-current-conducting infinitely long wire is often discussed in the context of relativistic electrodynamics. It is of course a completely academic discussion since for the typical household currents the drift velocity of the electrons in the wire, making up the conduction current, is tiny (of the order ##\mathcal{O}(1\,\text{mm}/\text{s})##!). Nevertheless it is unfortunately only quite confusingly discussed in the literature. So here is my attempt for a more consistent description using a naive classical model of a metal as consisting of a continuum of effectively positive bound charges (consisting of atoms and the bound electrons making up the lattice forming the metal, in the following called “ions”) and negative freely moving conduction electrons, treated as a freely moving fluid subject to some friction when moving against the positive charged rigid background.

The...

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