Microscopic View of Ohm's Law
The current density (electric current per unit area, J=I/A) can be expressed as The number of free electrons, assuming one per atom, is From the standard form of Ohm's law and resistance in terms of resistivity: The next step is to relate the drift velocity to the electron speed, which can be approximated by the Fermi speed: The drift speed can be expressed in terms of the accelerating electric field E, the electron mass, and the characteristic time between collisions. The conductivity of the material can be expressed in terms of the Fermi speed and the mean free path of an electron in the metal.

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HyperPhysics***** Electricity and Magnetism Prof Allehyani S.H  Go Back 
Microscopic View of Copper WireAs an example of the microscopic view of Ohm's law, the parameters for copper will be examined. With one free electron per atom in its metallic state, the electron density of copper can be calculated from its bulk density and its atomic mass. The Fermi energy for copper is about 7 eV, so the Fermi speed is The measured resistivity of copper at 20 C is The mean free path of an electron in copper under these conditions can be calculated from The drift speed depends upon the electric field applied. For example, a copper wire of diameter 1mm and length 1 meter which has one volt applied to it yields the following results. For 1 volt applied this gives a current of 46.3 amperes and a current density This corresponds to a drift speed of only millimeters per second, in contrast to the high Fermi speed of the electrons. 
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HyperPhysics***** Electricity and Magnetism Prof Allehyani S.H  Go Back 