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**Current Density and Ohm’s Law
**

• Consider the steady motion of one kind of Charge carriers, each of charge q (which is –ve for electrons), across an element surface Δs with a velocity u, as shown in Fig. 5–1. If N is the number of charge carriers per unit volume, then in time Δt, each charge moves a distance u Δt, and the amount of charge passing through the surface Δs is: • Since current is the time rate of change of

Steady Electric Currents 2

**Current Density and Ohm’s Law
**

charge, we have:

• In Eq. (5—2) we have written Δs=anΔs as a vector quantity. It is convenient to define a vector point function, volume current density, or simply, current density, J, in amperes per square meter: • so that Eq. (5—2) can be written as:

Steady Electric Currents 3

**Current Density and Ohm’s Law
**

• The total current I flowing through an arbitrary surface S is then the flux of the J vector through S:

**• Noting that the product Nq is in fact free per charge volume, we may rewrite Eq. (5—3) as:
**

• Which is the relation between the convection current density and the velocity of the charge carrier.

Steady Electric Currents 4

**Current Density and Ohm’s Law
**

• In case of conduction currents there may be more than one kind of charge carriers (electrons, holes and ions) drifting with different velocities. Eq. (5—3) should be generalized to read: • The conduction currents are the result of the drift motion of charge carriers under the influence of an applied electric field. The atoms remain neutral (ρ = 0). It can be justified analytically that for most conducting materials the average drift

Steady Electric Currents 5

**Current Density and Ohm’s Law
**

velocity is directly proportional to the electric field intensity. For metallic conductors we write: • where μe is the electron mobility measured in (m2/V·s). It is 1.4 × 10−4 (m2/V·s) for aluminum and 5.2 × 10−3 (m2/V·s) for silver. From Eqs. (5— 3) and (5—19) we have:

**• where ρe=−Ne is the charge density of the drifting electrons and is a −ve quantity.
**

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**Current Density and Ohm’s Law
**

Eq. (5—20) can be rewritten as:

• where the proportionality constant σ = − ρeμe, is a macroscopic constitutive parameter of the medium called conductivity. • For semiconductors, conductivity depends on the concentration and mobility of both electrons and holes:

Steady Electric Currents

7

**Current Density and Ohm’s Law
**

• where subscript h denotes a hole. In general, μe ≠ μh. For germanium, typical values are μe = 0.38, μh = 0.18; for silicon, μe = 0.12, μh = 0.03. (m2/V·s). • Eq. (5—21) is a constitutive relation of a conducting medium. Isotropic materials for which the linear equation Eq. (5—21) holds are called ohmic media. The unit for σ is ampere per volt meter (A/V·m) or siemens per meter (S/m). Copper, the most commonly used conductor,

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**Current Density and Ohm’s Law
**

has a conductivity 5.80 × 107 (S/m). On the other hand, the conductivity of germanium is around 2.2 (S/m), and that of silicon is 1.6 × 10−3 (S/m). The conductivity of semiconductors is highly dependant of (increases with) temperature. Hard rubber, a good insulator, has a conductivity of only 10−15 (S/m). However, note that, unlike the dielectric constant, the conductivity of materials varies over a very wide range. The reciprocal of conductivity is called resistivity, in ohm-meters

Steady Electric Currents 9

**Current Density and Ohm’s Law
**

(Ω·m). We prefer to use conductivity; there is really no compelling need to use both conductivity and resistivity. • We recall Ohm’s Law from circuit theory that the voltage V12 across a resistance R, in which a current I flows form point 1 to point 2 is equal to , that is:

**• Here R is usually a conducting material of given length; V12 is the voltage between two terminals
**

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**Current Density and Ohm’s Law
**

1 and 2; and I is the total current flowing from terminal 1 to terminal 2 through a finite crosssection. • Eq. (5—23) is not a point relation. Although there is little resemblance between Eq. (5—21) and Eq. (5—23), the former is generally referred to as the point form of Ohm’s law. It holds at all points in space, and σ can be a function of space coordinates. • Let us use the point form of Ohm’s law to derive

Steady Electric Currents 11

**Current Density and Ohm’s Law
**

the voltage-current relationship of a piece of homogenous material of conductivity σ, length l, and uniform cross-section S, as shown in Fig. 5—3. Within the conducting material, J=σE, where both J and E are in the direction of current flow. The potential difference or voltage between terminals 1 and 2 is: • or:

Steady Electric Currents 12

**Current Density and Ohm’s Law
**

• The total current is:

• or:

• Using Eqs. (5—24) and (5—25) in Eq. (5—21), we obtain: • or:

Steady Electric Currents 13

**Current Density and Ohm’s Law
**

• which is the same as Eq. (5—23) From Eq. (5— 26) we have the formula for resistance of a straight piece of homogeneous material of a uniform cross section dor steady current (d.c.): • We could have started with Eq. (5—23) as the experimental Ohm’s law and applied it to a homogeneous conductor of length l and uniform cross-section S. Using the formula in Eq. (5— 27), we could derive a point relationship in Eq.

Steady Electric Currents 14

**Current Density and Ohm’s Law
**

(5—21). • The conductance, G, or the reciprocal of resistance, is useful in combining resistances in parallel. The unit for conductance is (Ω−1), or siemens (S): • From circuit theory we know the following:

a) When Resistances R1 and R2 are connected in series (same current), the total resistance R is:

Steady Electric Currents 15

**Current Density and Ohm’s Law
**

b) When resistances R1 and R2 are connected in parallel (same voltage), we have:

c) or:

Steady Electric Currents

16

**Electromotive Force and Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law
**

• In Section 3—2 we pointed out that static electric field is conservative and that the scalar line integral of static electric intensity around any closed path is zero, that is: • For an ohmic material, J=σE, Eq. (5—31) becomes:

**• Equation (5—32) tells us that a steady electric current cannot be maintained in the same
**

Steady Electric Currents 17

**Electromotive Force and Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law
**

direction in a closed circuit by an electrostatic field. A steady current in a circuit is the result of motion in charge, which, in their paths, collide with atoms and dissipate energy in the circuit. This energy must come from a nonconservative field, since a charge carrier completing a closed circuit in a conservative field neither gains nor loses energy. The source of the nonconservative field may be electric batteries (conversion of chemical energy to electric energy), electric generators (conversion

Steady Electric Currents 18

**Electromotive Force and Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law
**

of mechanical energy to electric energy), thermocouples (conversion of thermal energy to electric energy), photovoltaic cells (conversion of light energy to electric energy), or other devices. These electrical energy sources, when connected in an electric circuit, provide a driving force for charge carriers. This force manifests itself as an equivalent impressed electric field intensity Ei. • Consider an electric battery with electrodes 1

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**Electromotive Force and Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law
**

and 2, shown schematically in Fig. 5—4. Chemical action creates a cumulation of +ve and −ve charges at electrodes 1 and 2, respectively. These charges give rise to an electrostatic field intensity E both inside and outside the battery. Inside the battery, E must be equal in and opposite in direction to the nonconservative Ei produced by chemical action, since no current flows in the open-circuited battery and the net force acting on the charge carriers must vanish. The line integral of the impressed field intensity

Steady Electric Currents 20

**Electromotive Force and Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law
**

Ei from the −ve to the +ve electrode(from electrode 2 to electrode 1 Fig. 5—4) inside the battery is customarily called the electromotive force (emf) of the battery. The SI unit for emf is volt, and an emf is not a force in newtons. Denoted by γ, the electromotive force is the measure of the strength of the nonconservative source. We have:

**The conservative electrostatic field intensity E
**

Steady Electric Currents 21

**Electromotive Force and Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law
**

satisfies Eq.(5-31)

Combining Eqs.(5-33) and (5-34), we have:

Or • In Eqs.(5-35) and (5-36) we have expressed the emf of the source as a line integral of the conservative E and interpreted it as a voltage rise. In spite of the nonconservative nature of Ei,

Steady Electric Currents 22

**Electromotive Force and Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law
**

the emf can be expressed as a potential difference between the +ve and –ve terminals. This was what we did in arriving at Eq.(5-24). • When a resistor in the form of Fig. 5-3 is connected between terminals 1 and 2 of the battery, completing the circuit, the total electric field intensity (electrostatic E caused by charge cumulation, as well as impressed Ei caused by chemical action), must be used in the point form of Ohm’s law. We have, instead of Eq.(5-21),

Steady Electric Currents 23

**Electromotive Force and Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law
**

where Ei exists inside the battery only, while E has a nonzero value both inside and outside the source. From Eq.(5-37) we obtain:

• The scalar line integral of Eq.(5-38) around the closed circuit yields, in view of Eqs.(5-31) and (5-33),

Steady Electric Currents

24

**Electromotive Force and Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law
**

• Eq.(5-39) should be compared to Eq.(5-32), which holds when there is no source of nonconservative field. If the resistor has a conductively σ, length l, and uniform cross section S, J=I/S and the right side of Eq.(5-39) becomes RI. We have:

• If there are more than one source of electromotive force and more than one resistor (including the internal resistances of the

Steady Electric Currents 25

**Electromotive Force and Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law
**

sources) in the closed path, we generalize Eq.(5-40) to:

• Eq.(5-41) is an expression of Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law. It states that, around a closed path in an electric circuit, the algebraic sum of the emf’s (voltage rises) is equal to the algebraic sum of the voltage drops across the resistances. It applies to any closed path in

Steady Electric Currents 26

**Electromotive Force and Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law
**

a network. The direction of tracing the path can be arbitrarily assigned, and the currents in the different resistances need not be the same. Kirchhoff’s voltage law is the basis for loop analysis in circuit theory.

Steady Electric Currents

27

**Equation of Continuity and Kirchhoff’s Current Law
**

• The principle of conservation of charge is one of the fundamental postulates of physics. Electric charges may not be created or destroyed; all charges either at rest or in motion must be accounted for at all times. Consider an arbitrary volume V bounded by surface S. A netg charge Q exists within this region. If a net current I flows across the surface out of this region, the charge in the volume must decrease at a rate that equals the current. Conversely, if a net current flows across the surface into the

Steady Electric Currents 28

**Equation of Continuity and Kirchhoff’s Current Law
**

region, the charge in the volume must increase at a rate equal to the current. The current leaving the region is the total outward flux of the current density vector through the surface S. We have:

• Divergence theorem, Eq. (2—115), may be invoked to convert the surface integral of J to the volume integral of ·J. We obtain, for a stationary volume:

Steady Electric Currents 29

**Equation of Continuity and Kirchhoff’s Current Law
**

• In moving the derivative of ρ inside the volume integral, it is necessary to use partial differentiation because ρ may be a function of time as well as of space coordinates. Since Eq. (5—43) must hold regardless of the choice of V, the integrands must be equal. Thus we have:

• This point relationship derived from the principle of conservation of charge is called the equation

Steady Electric Currents 30

**Equation of Continuity and Kirchhoff’s Current Law
**

of continuity. • For steady currents, charge density does not vary with time, ∂p/∂t = 0. Eq. (5—44) becomes:

• Thus steady electric currents are divergenceless or solenoidal. Equation (5—45) is a point relationship and holds also at points where ρ=0 (no flow source). It means that the field lines or streamlines of steady currents close upon themselves, unlike those of electrostatic field

Steady Electric Currents 31

**Equation of Continuity and Kirchhoff’s Current Law
**

intensity that originate and end on charges. Over any enclosed surface, Eq. (5—45) leads to the following integral form:

**• which can be written as:
**

• Equation (5—47) is an expression of Kirchhoff’s current law. It states that the algebraic sum of all the currents flowing out of a junction in an electric circuit is zero.

Steady Electric Currents 32

**Equation of Continuity and Kirchhoff’s Current Law
**

Kirchhoff’s current law is the basis for node analysis in circuit theory. • In Section 3—6, we stated that charges introduced in the interior of a conductor will move to the conductor surface and redistribute themselves in such a way as to make ρ=0 and E=0 inside under equilibrium conditions. We are now in a position to prove this statement and to calculate the time it takes to reach an equilibrium. Combining Ohm’s law, Eq. (5—21),

Steady Electric Currents 33

**Equation of Continuity and Kirchhoff’s Current Law
**

with the equation of continuity and assuming a constant σ, we have: • In a simple medium, becomes: ·E=ρ/∊, and Eq. (5—48)

• The solution of Eq. (5—49) is:

**• where ρ0 is the initial charge density at t=0. Both
**

Steady Electric Currents 34

**Equation of Continuity and Kirchhoff’s Current Law
**

ρ and ρ0 can be functions of the space coordinates, and Eq. (5—50) says that the charge density at a given location will increase with time exponentially. An initial charge density ρ0 will decay to 1/e or 36.8% of it’s value in a time equal to:

• The time constant τ is called the relaxation time. For a good conductor such as copper— σ=5.80 × 107 (S/m), ∊≅∊0=8.85 × 10−12 (F/m)– τ

Steady Electric Currents 35

**Equation of Continuity and Kirchhoff’s Current Law
**

equals 1.52×10−19 (s), a very short time indeed. The transient time is so brief that, for all practical purposes, ρ can be considered zero in the interior of a conductor—see Eq. (3—69) in Section 3—6. The relaxation time for a good insulator is not infinite but can be hours or days.

Steady Electric Currents

36

**Power Dissipation and Joule’s Law
**

• Under the influence of an electric , conduction electrons in a conductor undergo a drift motion macroscopically. Microscopically, these electrons collide with atoms on lattice sides. Energy is thus transmitted from the electric field to the atoms in thermal vibration. The work Δw done by an electric field E in moving a charge q a distance Δl is qE·(Δl), which corresponds to a power:

Steady Electric Currents

37

**Power Dissipation and Joule’s Law
**

• where u is the drift velocity. The total power delivered to all the charge carriers in a volume dv is:

**• which, by virtue of Eq. (5—18) is:
**

• or:

**• Thus the point function E·J is a power density
**

Steady Electric Currents 38

**Power Dissipation and Joule’s Law
**

under steady-current conditions. For a given volume V the total electric power converted into heat is:

• This is known as Joule’s Law. (Note that the SI unit for P is watt, not joule, which is the unit for energy or work.) Equation (5—53) is the corresponding point relationship. • In a conductor of constant cross section, dv = ds dl, with dl measured in the direction J. Equation

Steady Electric Currents 39

**Power Dissipation and Joule’s Law
**

(5—54) can be written as: • where I is the current in the conductor. Since R = VI, we have:

• Equation (5—55) is, of course, the familiar expression for ohmic power representing the heat dissipated in resistance R per unit time.

Steady Electric Currents

40

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