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CURRENT ELECTRICITY
INTRODUCTION
• We studied the properties of charges when it
is at rest. In reality, the charges are always
moving within the materials.
• For example, the electrons in a copper wire
are never at rest and are continuously in
random motion.
• Therefore it is important to analyse the
behaviour of charges when it is at motion. The
motion of charges is called ‘electric current’.
• Current electricity is the study of flow of electric
charges.
• It owes its origin to Alessandro Volta (1745-1827),
who invented the electric battery which
produced the first steady flow of electric current.
• Modern world depends heavily on the use of
electricity.
• It is used to operate machines, communication
systems, electronic devices, home appliances
etc.,
• In this unit, we will study about the electric
current, resistance and related phenomenon in
materials
ELECTRIC CURRENT
• Matter is made up of atoms.
• Each atom consists of a positively charged
nucleus with negatively charged electrons
moving around the nucleus.
• Atoms in metals have one or more electrons
which are loosely bound to the nucleus.
• These electrons are called free electrons and
can be easily detached from the atoms.
• The substances which have an abundance of
these free electrons are called conductors.
• These free electrons move at random
throughout the conductor at a given
temperature.
• In general due to this random motion, there is
no net transfer of charges from one end of the
conductor to other end and hence no current.
• When a potential difference is applied by the
battery across the ends of the conductor, the
free electrons drift towards the positive
terminal of the battery, producing a net
electric current.
• Positive charge flows from higher electric
potential to lower electric potential and
negative charge flows from lower electric
potential to higher electric potential.
• So battery or electric cell simply creates
potential difference across the conductor.
• The electric current in a conductor is defined
as the rate of flow of charges through a given
cross-sectional area A.
Charges flow across the area A
• If a net charge Q passes through any cross
section of a conductor in time t, then the
current is defined as I = Q/t
• But charge flow is not always constant. Hence
current can more generally be defined as
• Where ΔQ is the amount of charge that passes
through the conductor at any cross section
during the time interval Δt
• If the rate at which charge flows changes in
time, the current also changes.
• The instantaneous current I is defined as the
limit of the average current, as  t  0
• The SI unit of current is the ampere (A)
• 1A of current is equivalent to 1 Coulomb of
charge passing through a perpendicular cross
section in 1second.
• The electric current is a scalar quantity.
Conventional Current
• In an electric circuit, arrow heads are used to
indicate the direction of flow of current.
• By convention, this flow in the circuit should
be from the positive terminal of the battery to
the negative terminal.
• This current is called the conventional current
or simply current and is in the direction in
which a positive test charge would move
• In typical circuits the charges that flow are
actually electrons, from the negative terminal
of the battery to the positive
• As a result, the flow of electrons and the
direction of conventional current points in
opposite direction
• Mathematically, a transfer of positive charge is
the same as a transfer of negative charge in
the opposite direction
LIGHTNING PRODUCES CURRENT
• Electric current is not only produced by
batteries.
• In nature, lightning bolt produces enormous
electric current in a short time.
• During lightning, very high potential difference
is created between the clouds and ground so
charges flow between the clouds and ground
Ions
• Any material is made up of neutral atoms with
equal number of electrons and protons.
• If the outermost electrons leave the atoms,
they become free electrons and are
responsible for electric current.
• The atoms after losing their outer most
electrons will have more positive charges and
hence are called positive ions.
• These ions will not move freely within the
material like the free electrons. Hence the
positive ions will not give rise to current.
Drift velocity
• In a conductor the charge carriers are free
electrons.
• These electrons move freely through the
conductor and collide repeatedly with the
positive ions.
• If there is no electric field, the electrons move
in random directions, so the directions of their
velocities are also completely random
direction.
• On an average, the number of electrons
travelling in any direction will be equal to the
number of electrons travelling in the opposite
direction.
• As a result, there is no net flow of electrons in
any direction and hence there will not be any
current
• Suppose a potential difference is set across
the conductor by connecting a battery, an
electric field is created in the conductor
• This electric field exerts a force on the
electrons, producing a current.
• The electric field accelerates the electrons,
while ions scatter the electrons and change
the direction of motion
• Thus, we have zigzag paths of electrons.
• In addition to the zigzag motion due to the
collisions, the electrons move slowly along the
conductor in a direction opposite to that of E
• This velocity is called drift velocity vd
Drift velocity
• The drift velocity is the average velocity
acquired by the electrons inside the conductor
when it is subjected to an electric field.
• The average time between successive
collisions is called the mean free time denoted
by τ.
• The acceleration a experienced by the electron
in an electric field E is given by
• The drift velocity vd is given by
•
• is the mobility of the electron and it is defined
as the magnitude of the drift velocity per unit
electric field.
• The SI unit of mobility is m2/Vs
How electric bulbs glow as soon as we
switch on the battery?
• The typical drift velocity of electrons in the
wire is 10-4 m s-1.
• If an electron drifts with this speed, then the
electrons leaving the battery will take hours to
reach the light bulb.
• When battery is switched on, the electrons
begin to move away from the negative
terminal of the battery and this electron
exerts force on the nearby electrons.
• This process creates a propagating influence
(electric field) that travels through the wire at
the speed of light.
• In other words, the energy is transported from
the battery to light bulb at the speed of light
through propagating influence (electric field).
• Due to this reason, the light bulb glows as
soon as the battery is switched on
• (i) There is a common misconception that the
battery is the source of electrons. It is not true.
• When a battery is connected across the given
wire, the electrons in the closed circuit resulting
the current.
• Battery sets the potential difference (electrical
energy) due to which these electrons in the
conducting wire flow in a particular direction.
• The resulting electrical energy is used by electric
bulb, electric fan etc.
• Similarly the electricity board is supplying the
electrical energy to our home.
• (ii) We often use the phrases like ‘charging the
battery in my mobile’ and ‘my mobile phone
battery has no charge’ etc. These sentences
are not correct
• When we say ‘battery has no charge’, it
means, that the battery has lost ability to
provide energy or provide potential difference
to the electrons in the circuit.
• When we say ‘mobile is charging’, it implies
that the battery is receiving energy from AC
power supply and not electrons
Microscopic model of current
• Consider a conductor with area of cross
section A and an electric field E applied from
right to left.
• Suppose there are n electrons per unit volume
in the conductor and assume that all the
electrons move with the same drift velocity vd
• The drift velocity of the electrons = vd
• The electrons move through a distance dx
within a small interval of dt
• The area of cross section of the conductor, the
electrons available in the volume of length dx
is = volume × number per unit volume
• = Adx x n
• Substituting for dx
• Total charge in volume element dQ = (charge)
× (number of electrons in the volume element)
Current density (J)
• The current density (J ) is defined as the
current per unit area of cross section of the
conductor.
• The S.I unit of current density is A m-2
• The above expression is valid only when the
direction of the current is perpendicular to the
area A.
• In general, the current density is a vector
quantity and it is given by
• Substituting for vd
• The equation is called microscopic form of ohm’s
law.
• The inverse of conductivity is called resistivity
()
Why current density is a vector but
current is a scalar?
• In general, the current I is defined as the
scalar product of the current density and area
vector in which the charges cross
• The current I can be positive or negative
depending on the choice of the unit vector
normal to the surface area A.
CURRENT ELECTRICITY
CURRENT ELECTRICITY
CURRENT ELECTRICITY

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CURRENT ELECTRICITY

  • 2. INTRODUCTION • We studied the properties of charges when it is at rest. In reality, the charges are always moving within the materials. • For example, the electrons in a copper wire are never at rest and are continuously in random motion. • Therefore it is important to analyse the behaviour of charges when it is at motion. The motion of charges is called ‘electric current’.
  • 3. • Current electricity is the study of flow of electric charges. • It owes its origin to Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), who invented the electric battery which produced the first steady flow of electric current. • Modern world depends heavily on the use of electricity. • It is used to operate machines, communication systems, electronic devices, home appliances etc., • In this unit, we will study about the electric current, resistance and related phenomenon in materials
  • 4.
  • 5. ELECTRIC CURRENT • Matter is made up of atoms. • Each atom consists of a positively charged nucleus with negatively charged electrons moving around the nucleus. • Atoms in metals have one or more electrons which are loosely bound to the nucleus. • These electrons are called free electrons and can be easily detached from the atoms. • The substances which have an abundance of these free electrons are called conductors.
  • 6. • These free electrons move at random throughout the conductor at a given temperature. • In general due to this random motion, there is no net transfer of charges from one end of the conductor to other end and hence no current. • When a potential difference is applied by the battery across the ends of the conductor, the free electrons drift towards the positive terminal of the battery, producing a net electric current.
  • 7. • Positive charge flows from higher electric potential to lower electric potential and negative charge flows from lower electric potential to higher electric potential. • So battery or electric cell simply creates potential difference across the conductor. • The electric current in a conductor is defined as the rate of flow of charges through a given cross-sectional area A.
  • 8.
  • 9.
  • 10. Charges flow across the area A
  • 11. • If a net charge Q passes through any cross section of a conductor in time t, then the current is defined as I = Q/t • But charge flow is not always constant. Hence current can more generally be defined as • Where ΔQ is the amount of charge that passes through the conductor at any cross section during the time interval Δt
  • 12. • If the rate at which charge flows changes in time, the current also changes. • The instantaneous current I is defined as the limit of the average current, as  t  0 • The SI unit of current is the ampere (A)
  • 13. • 1A of current is equivalent to 1 Coulomb of charge passing through a perpendicular cross section in 1second. • The electric current is a scalar quantity.
  • 14.
  • 16. • In an electric circuit, arrow heads are used to indicate the direction of flow of current. • By convention, this flow in the circuit should be from the positive terminal of the battery to the negative terminal. • This current is called the conventional current or simply current and is in the direction in which a positive test charge would move
  • 17. • In typical circuits the charges that flow are actually electrons, from the negative terminal of the battery to the positive • As a result, the flow of electrons and the direction of conventional current points in opposite direction • Mathematically, a transfer of positive charge is the same as a transfer of negative charge in the opposite direction
  • 19. • Electric current is not only produced by batteries. • In nature, lightning bolt produces enormous electric current in a short time. • During lightning, very high potential difference is created between the clouds and ground so charges flow between the clouds and ground
  • 20. Ions • Any material is made up of neutral atoms with equal number of electrons and protons. • If the outermost electrons leave the atoms, they become free electrons and are responsible for electric current. • The atoms after losing their outer most electrons will have more positive charges and hence are called positive ions. • These ions will not move freely within the material like the free electrons. Hence the positive ions will not give rise to current.
  • 21. Drift velocity • In a conductor the charge carriers are free electrons. • These electrons move freely through the conductor and collide repeatedly with the positive ions. • If there is no electric field, the electrons move in random directions, so the directions of their velocities are also completely random direction.
  • 22. • On an average, the number of electrons travelling in any direction will be equal to the number of electrons travelling in the opposite direction. • As a result, there is no net flow of electrons in any direction and hence there will not be any current • Suppose a potential difference is set across the conductor by connecting a battery, an electric field is created in the conductor
  • 23. • This electric field exerts a force on the electrons, producing a current. • The electric field accelerates the electrons, while ions scatter the electrons and change the direction of motion • Thus, we have zigzag paths of electrons. • In addition to the zigzag motion due to the collisions, the electrons move slowly along the conductor in a direction opposite to that of E • This velocity is called drift velocity vd
  • 25. • The drift velocity is the average velocity acquired by the electrons inside the conductor when it is subjected to an electric field. • The average time between successive collisions is called the mean free time denoted by τ. • The acceleration a experienced by the electron in an electric field E is given by
  • 26. • The drift velocity vd is given by • • is the mobility of the electron and it is defined as the magnitude of the drift velocity per unit electric field. • The SI unit of mobility is m2/Vs
  • 27. How electric bulbs glow as soon as we switch on the battery? • The typical drift velocity of electrons in the wire is 10-4 m s-1. • If an electron drifts with this speed, then the electrons leaving the battery will take hours to reach the light bulb. • When battery is switched on, the electrons begin to move away from the negative terminal of the battery and this electron exerts force on the nearby electrons.
  • 28. • This process creates a propagating influence (electric field) that travels through the wire at the speed of light. • In other words, the energy is transported from the battery to light bulb at the speed of light through propagating influence (electric field). • Due to this reason, the light bulb glows as soon as the battery is switched on
  • 29. • (i) There is a common misconception that the battery is the source of electrons. It is not true. • When a battery is connected across the given wire, the electrons in the closed circuit resulting the current. • Battery sets the potential difference (electrical energy) due to which these electrons in the conducting wire flow in a particular direction. • The resulting electrical energy is used by electric bulb, electric fan etc. • Similarly the electricity board is supplying the electrical energy to our home.
  • 30. • (ii) We often use the phrases like ‘charging the battery in my mobile’ and ‘my mobile phone battery has no charge’ etc. These sentences are not correct • When we say ‘battery has no charge’, it means, that the battery has lost ability to provide energy or provide potential difference to the electrons in the circuit. • When we say ‘mobile is charging’, it implies that the battery is receiving energy from AC power supply and not electrons
  • 31.
  • 32. Microscopic model of current • Consider a conductor with area of cross section A and an electric field E applied from right to left. • Suppose there are n electrons per unit volume in the conductor and assume that all the electrons move with the same drift velocity vd
  • 33.
  • 34. • The drift velocity of the electrons = vd • The electrons move through a distance dx within a small interval of dt • The area of cross section of the conductor, the electrons available in the volume of length dx is = volume × number per unit volume • = Adx x n
  • 35. • Substituting for dx • Total charge in volume element dQ = (charge) × (number of electrons in the volume element)
  • 36. Current density (J) • The current density (J ) is defined as the current per unit area of cross section of the conductor. • The S.I unit of current density is A m-2
  • 37. • The above expression is valid only when the direction of the current is perpendicular to the area A. • In general, the current density is a vector quantity and it is given by • Substituting for vd • The equation is called microscopic form of ohm’s law.
  • 38. • The inverse of conductivity is called resistivity ()
  • 39. Why current density is a vector but current is a scalar? • In general, the current I is defined as the scalar product of the current density and area vector in which the charges cross • The current I can be positive or negative depending on the choice of the unit vector normal to the surface area A.