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Questions tagged [conductors]

For questions about materials which allow the flow of an electric charge (electrical conductors) or the transfer of heat (thermal conductors) through them.

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11
votes
6answers
50k views

Why is the electric field perpendicular to every point on the surface of a conductor?

I am reading Berkeley Physics Course, Volume 2 (Electricity and Magnetism by Edward M. Purcell). I am in chapter $3$, page $92$, and the book discusses conductors. The following is from the book: ...
6
votes
7answers
4k views

Why does electricity need wires to flow?

If you drop a really heavy ball the ball's gravitational potential energy will turn into kinetic energy. If you place the same ball in the pool, the ball will still fall. A lot of kinetic energy will ...
3
votes
1answer
24k views

Charge inside conductor

I know that the $E$ field inside a conductor is zero. What happens if I put a source of charge inside the conductor? Say the conductor was spherical centered on the origin and there exists a charge ...
10
votes
9answers
67k views

Why is the charge transferred by electrons and not by protons?

Charges are transferred by electrons which we all know. But why can't it be transferred by protons? Well, I searched on Google where I found similar questions already being asked on many sites. ...
9
votes
4answers
14k views

How does positive charge spread out in conductors?

I know that when there are excess positive charges in a conductor, for example, a metal sphere, the positive charges will spread out over its surface. However, I am confused about how this excess ...
1
vote
1answer
322 views

How to make a non-grounded conductor have equipotential?

I'm studying the Method of Images and I seemed to have come to a conundrum. Method of Images takes advantage of grounded objects, (I am currently studying spheres), to set boundary conditions. However,...
7
votes
2answers
11k views

How do bits get transferred over a copper wire?

I've been a programmer for a while, and I've done a little bit of network programming, but I'm wondering, how do bits get transferred over a copper wire? What counts for a 1 & what counts for a 0?...
1
vote
4answers
14k views

Distribution of charge on a hollow metal sphere

A hollow metal sphere is electrically neutral (no excess charge). A small amount of negative charge is suddenly placed at one point P on this metal sphere. If we check on this excess negative ...
5
votes
2answers
28k views

How to know what materials are good conductors of electricity?

I'm not asking a question like "Is the wood conductive?". No. I'm asking what properties do they have to have to be good conductors. Theoretically I mean.
9
votes
1answer
5k views

Why does electrical current start to flow?

What happens microscopically when an electrical current starts to flow? I'd like to understand microscopically what happens in detail when electrons start moving (quasi-classically). Electrons can ...
28
votes
3answers
12k views

How does electricity propagate in a conductor?

On a systems level, I understand that as electrons are pushed into a wire, there is a net field and a net electron velocity. And I've read that the net electron drift is slow. But electricity ...