In the free electron gas model, we assume that the conduction electrons are assumed to move freely throughout the conducting material which collide with the ion cores of the lattice.
Now, I want to know how do these collisions take place. Considering electrons and ion cores as hard balls, the above figure shows that the electrons collide with the ion cores and are repelled by the cores. If this is true,
- Does a free electron feel any net force when it is not colliding? (Except the force due to applied electric field)
Are the colliding electrons repelled by the outer shells of the electrons bound to the nucleus? I don't think so. The colliding electron should always feel a net attractive force towards the nucleus according to shell theorem because the ion is positively charged. If the colliding electron gets past the electron shells, what does happen now? I imagine two cases:
The electron does not hit the nucleus and is deflected due to Coulomb forces.
The electron hits the nucleus. Now I don't know what happens afterwards. Does any repulsive force act on electron(strong or weak nuclear forces?)? If yes, does the electron gets reflected as if the electron and the nucleus were hard balls? Or the electron just penetrates the nucleus and emerges from the other side undeflected? Now my question is
- What is the true mechanism of collisions considered in the Drude model? I think it is case 1 but I'm not sure.