Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Why do wires get hot as current flows? Is it friction?

  1. Jan 23, 2012 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    temperature is a measure of how much movement there is among molecules/atoms.

    When current meets no resistance in wire, it causes no thermal excitation in the wire, just bumps electrons around and no heat is produced.

    In resistors, however, it does not flow as smoothly and excites the atoms/molecules.

    Wires have varying amounts of resistance (except certain ones when supercooled) so get varying amount of heat excitation from current flow.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook