The Wikipedia page for Joule heating explains

"It is now known that Joule heating is caused by interactions between the moving particles that form the current (usually, but not always, electrons) and the atomic ions that make up the body of the conductor. Charged particles in an electric circuit are accelerated by an electric field but give up some of their kinetic energy each time they collide with an ion. The increase in the kinetic or vibrational energy of the ions manifests itself as heat and a rise in the temperature of the conductor. Hence energy is transferred from the electrical power supply to the conductor and any materials with which it is in thermal contact."

However, I wonder why they only talk about ions. Of course, electrons can easier interact with particles, which also have a long range field, but what about the non-charged particles which are also all around?

Is Joule heating only between electrons and ions?


I guess they have metals in mind. For a solution (electrolyte) it is clearly not the case because each charged molecule (ion) is surrounded by neutral molecules (since most of the molecules are neutral) and in liquid molecules can't just fly through, they are in a constant collision.


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