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In dielectrics, distortion polarization of bound charges occurs in response to applied electric field. In metals, free charges produce current in response to applied electric field, but metals have bound charges too.

Do free charges (free electrons) in metals distort bound charge clouds (bound electron clouds) and do external electric fields do the same?

If yes, then do this distorted electron clouds in turn attract free electrons on one side and repel them on the other side?

edit: my question is also about possible transient effects (before equilibrium state).

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  • $\begingroup$ Piotr, asking such a question there has to be a thought behind. What for a difference does it makes for you if the inner electrons are disturbed? $\endgroup$ – HolgerFiedler Mar 19 '17 at 8:01
  • $\begingroup$ @HolgerFiedler: I was reading about distortion polarization in dielectrics and realized that metals have both free and bound electrons, thus the bound ones must also interact with the external or internal fields. I didn't find anything about this interaction in metals. Maybe such interaction has some effect on the conductivity. $\endgroup$ – Piotr Szturmaj Mar 19 '17 at 12:04
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For your last question

... do this distorted electron clouds in turn attract free electrons on one side and repel them on the other side?

I haven't an answer.

Do free electrons in metals distort bound electron clouds and do external electric fields the same? (Slightly edited by me)

Clearly yes and the discovery of the superconductivity shows what happens if the kinetic energy of the atoms is reduced to the necessary extent. As long as the temperature of some compounds or even elements is low enough the electron gas in the superconducting phase is nearly zero. But there are three enemies for the free flow of electron gas

  1. Raising magnetic field
  2. Raising temperature
  3. Raising electric current

From the last we can conclude that thee electron gas behind some limit of allowed current interacts with the bonded electrons.

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Inside a conductor, there is practically no electric field. The external field gets screened. It does not polarize bound charges.

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