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Basic concept of Electricity

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Electricity II

Resistivity 6 (rho)

By experiment it has been found that the resistance R of a material is directly proportional to its

length ÷ and inversely proportional to its cross-sectional area .

Making the proportionality an equation, the constant of proportionality (rho) is called the resistivity.

Rearranging the equation and making the length and area unity, we can form a definition for the

quantity.

The units of resistivity can be found by substituting the units for ÷ , and R in the resistivity equation.

Typical values of resistivity are:

metals ~10-8

semi-conductors ~ 0.5

glass/alumina ~ 1012

c

cc c c

ronductance

By definition, the conductance of a material is the reciprocal of its resistance. The unit of conductance

is the Seimens ( S).

ronductivity (sigma)

By definition, the conductivity of a material is the reciprocal of its resistivity. The units of conductivity

are Sm-1 or º m-1 .

rurrent density ·

rurrent density at a point along a conductor, is defined as the current per unit cross-sectional area.

ronduction in metals

Metal atoms in crystal lattices each tend to lose one of their outer electrons. These

wander randomly inside the crystal.

If a p.d. is applied across the metal, electrons drift in the direction of the positive contact. Since

electrostatic field direction is from positive to negative, the direction is against the field.

The drift velocity, as it is called, is of the order of 10-3 ms-1 . When the electrons move through the

crystal lattice they collide with metal ions. Each collision imparts kinetic energy from an electron to an

ion. The ions thus gain vibrational energy and as a consequence the temperature rises. This

phenomenon is called .

c

cc c c

The potential difference produces a steady current through the metal. On their journey electrons gain

and lose KE. The total amount of energy involved per m3 is a measure of the resistivity of the

particular metal.

Expressions for the current 2 through a conductor and the current density· can be formed using the

concept of drift velocity @ .

where:

- length of conductor

- cross-sectional area

- no. free electrons/unit vol.

- charge on the electron

@ - average electron drift velocity

The time for all the electrons in the section to travel from one face to the another is the time for one

electron (on the far right) to travel the whole length.

since,

c

cc c c

it follows that,

c

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