What is the speed of current

  • Thread starter mbsid786
  • Start date
  • #1
My teacher taught me electrons(current) inside conductor dont flow apace but they drift inside it. This drift in one direction due to electric field is called drift velocity. But now I m reading
"Electric current flows very fast through any conductor, resistor, or semiconductor.
In fact, for most practical purposes you can consider the speed of current to be the
same as the speed of light: 186,000 miles per second. Actually, it is a little less."

Oh man ! physics sucks me :D

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Electric fields travel very fast but the electrons making up the current generally drift at very slow speeds.
  • #3
You can calculate it, I just forgot how!

If memory serves me right, it's usually few centimeters per second for normal current densities.

It will take an incredibly high amount of current and/or very fine strand of conductor to take the drift up to relativistic speeds - if only there's such superconductor that can handle such extreme current density. But if it was possible, it might emit high energy radiation as well as appreciable amount of thrust (that could you could utilize for space propulsion)