Why do electrons collide with ions in a conductor

In summary, The electric field of the ions impacts the movement of the electrons through the conductor, causing collisions. The speed of the electron is determined by its nuclear charge and orbital charge, and heavier elements tend to be better conductors.
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Genji Shimada
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Homework Statement


I am confused if whether the collisions in a conductor is because as the electric field pushes electrons through the material, they literally bump into the orbitals of the atoms because these atoms get in the way of the electron flow, or whether these collisions happen because the ionized atoms through electric field influence the path of the electrons.

Homework Equations

The Attempt at a Solution


When electrons pass through the conductor, the positive field of the ions attract the electrons and this causes collisions. The greater the nuclear charge, the stronger the positive electric field of the ion will be and will attract electrons more, causing more collisions. Duo to the high kinetic energy of the particle, when a positive ion attracts it towards itself, a collision can occur between the drifting charge and electrons in orbitals around the ion. The rate of collisions depends on the electronegativity of the atom.
 
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  • #2
Genji Shimada said:
When electrons pass through the conductor, the positive field of the ions attract the electrons and this causes collisions.

the electrons basically move by the electric field impressed on the conductor and accelerates by a force e.E . the path is not free as the atoms of the conductor comes in the way...whose profile is 'oscillating' due to the temperature/thermal disturbance...and it scatters/collides with them...so a jig-jag path can be traced .
if the external field is absent there is no net transfer of electrons through the conductor and thereby the total current is zero.
this velocity/speed of the electron is called drift speed.
the nuclear charge and orbital charges may be giving a push in its own preferred way so that the path of the electrons are not straight but criss cross its motion trace-line.
 
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  • #3
Genji Shimada said:
The greater the nuclear charge, the stronger the positive electric field of the ion will be and will attract electrons more, causing more collisions.

your above statement has an error...say if the ions are heavier means large Z value then the nuclear charge

and electron cloud taken together will have same net charge and electrons at the usual drift velocity

can not see the nucleons of the atom.
so ..this effect will not be there. moreover if its true then heavier elements will become good conductors and that is not found...
 

Related to Why do electrons collide with ions in a conductor

1. Why do electrons move in a conductor?

Electrons move in a conductor because they are negatively charged particles that are repelled by the negatively charged nucleus of the atom. This repulsion causes them to move freely throughout the conductor.

2. How do electrons interact with ions in a conductor?

Electrons interact with ions in a conductor through the process of collision. As electrons move through the conductor, they collide with the positively charged ions in the metal, causing them to vibrate and transfer energy.

3. What causes electrons to collide with ions in a conductor?

Electrons collide with ions in a conductor due to the random thermal motion of both the electrons and ions. This motion causes them to come into contact with each other, resulting in collisions.

4. How do collisions between electrons and ions affect the conductivity of a material?

The collisions between electrons and ions in a conductor can disrupt the flow of electrons, leading to an increase in resistance and a decrease in conductivity. This is why materials with a higher concentration of ions, such as metals, tend to be good conductors.

5. Can electrons and ions collide in non-conductive materials?

Yes, electrons and ions can collide in non-conductive materials as well. However, since these materials do not have a high concentration of free electrons, the collisions do not result in the same level of conductivity as seen in conductors.

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