The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!

Featured:
   

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

   
Recent Posts
Sprinklered equipment 26-008
by bigpapa
12/02/16 04:24 PM
On Delay Relay with Auto Reset
by Potseal
12/01/16 09:59 AM
Wow, that was close!
by jraef
11/28/16 07:06 PM
Earthquake in New Zeeland
by RODALCO
11/27/16 11:25 PM
Calling all Non-US members!! (Non-US only)
by Tjia1981
11/27/16 06:33 AM
New in the Gallery:
12.5A through 0.75mm flex (just out of curiosity)
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
gfretwell 13
HotLine1 9
Texas_Ranger 8
Trumpy 8
sparkyinak 7
Who's Online
1 registered (sparkyinak), 220 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#130002 - 01/17/06 05:50 AM Do electrons Oscillate?
Dnkldorf Offline
Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1091
Loc: nowhere usa
I know this is going to sound stupid, but...

Do electrons vibrate/oscillate with a voltage applied?

They can't flow without a path, but can they sit there and oscillate without a complete path?


Dnk..

Top
#130003 - 01/17/06 08:06 AM Re: Do electrons Oscillate?
Radar Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 349
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Dnk - I'm not sure I can see the image in your head, what you mean by oscilating? But as I understand it, electrons are really not sitting around at all. Electrons revolve about the necleus (center part) of an atom, and at a high velocity at that. You can think of it as if they "orbit" about the center nucleus. In most materials (kind of atoms), the nucleus has a firm hold on the electron which makes it very dificult and unlikely than an electron can escape and take off, either on it's own of under pressure (voltage). Some materials have a weak hold on their outermost orbiting electrons and it is fairly easy for one of them to escape.

Added to this is not only do electrons orbit the center nucleus of their atoms, they also spin or rotate. You have left spinning electrons and right spinning ones. This spin is what is said to be related to magnetism. You can see it gets complicated.

Back to your question, generally, electrons are trapped in their orbits. Sometimes, if an external outside force or pressure is applied, depending on a bunch of variables, it might be strong enough to overcome the hold of the atoms nucleus and the electron can escape and move with the direction of the pressure applied.

This is kind of a simplistic reply to a very complex issue.

Radar
_________________________
There are 10 types of people. Those who know binary, and those who don't.

Top
#130004 - 01/17/06 09:29 AM Re: Do electrons Oscillate?
Dave T Offline
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 157
Loc: Waukesha, WI, USA
If I'm to guess that you may referring to electron flowing from negative to positive as would be in a DC power source then the answer would be No.
With AC the negative and positive change positions with the frequency. Then, is oscillation means changing direction then the answer is yes. But remember that electrons travel at the speed if light, 186,000mp sec. So, then the question is does a single electron in a conductor actually oscillate or it it so fast that it travels the complete length of the conductor and never has a chance to reverse directions.
The thought is further complicated by adding transformers and magnetic coupling etc. from the point where the power is being generated to the actual load.
But, it may be nice to know out of curiosity but is it necessary to know?

Top
#130005 - 01/17/06 10:36 AM Re: Do electrons Oscillate?
Radar Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 349
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Might we say that once an electron leaves the orbit of an atom, since it is negative, it will be attracted towards anything more positive and repelled away from other negatives. If the positive charge towards which it is moving changes locations, the direction of the electron travel will change accordingly. In the presence of an AC voltage, in which the locations of positive and negative charges swap places repeatedly, the electron will be forced to change directions (towards the positive) at twice the AC frequency.

Dave - I might certainly be wrong, but I don't believe electrons travel at the speed of light. I've heard this before, but since sub atomic particles are considered to be mostly particles (as opposed to waves), it is essentially impossible.

From what I've read, particle accelerators manage to accelerate particles up to some high fraction of the speed of light in order to generate extreemly high energy collisions. In ordinary matter, such collisions occur all the time, and at much lower energy levels.

Radar
_________________________
There are 10 types of people. Those who know binary, and those who don't.

Top
#130006 - 01/17/06 11:01 AM Re: Do electrons Oscillate?
Dnkldorf Offline
Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1091
Loc: nowhere usa
Keep going if you can, this is getting interesting.....


Dnk...

Top
#130007 - 01/17/06 05:39 PM Re: Do electrons Oscillate?
WFO Offline
Member

Registered: 09/03/05
Posts: 206
Loc: Cat Spring, TX
Quote:
"So, then the question is does a single electron in a conductor actually oscillate or it it so fast that it travels the complete length of the conductor and never has a chance to reverse directions."

My understanding, limited as it may be, is that electron flow is more like a domino effect than a flow.
An example would be a group of cue balls in a perfectly straight line. Hit the first ball, and the energy is instantly transmitted through each ball in the line to the very end without any one ball moving significantly.

Quote:
"Dave - I might certainly be wrong, but I don't believe electrons travel at the speed of light. "

The speed of light varies depending on the medium it travels in. The 186,000 miles per second it attains in a vacuum is slowed considerably in say, glass or water.

So the question is, how fast is light in an opaque medium like copper? Zero?

Logic tells us that current flows, so by the process of elimination, it should be somewhere between zero and 186,000 miles per second.

Hope this helps !

[This message has been edited by WFO (edited 01-17-2006).]

Top
#130008 - 01/17/06 08:52 PM Re: Do electrons Oscillate?
Radar Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 349
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
True enough that the speed of light differs according to the medium it is in, somewhat slower in air than in a vacuum, somewhat slower yet in water, etc. But in a medium like copper, I don't think the question is how fast so much as it is how far, i.e. how far does light penetrate into such a substance. Not very far, I'm sure.

The billiard balls is a good analogy - fill a 2" conduit with billiard balls 'till it's full. Then push another one in at one end, and one will be pushed out the other end at the same time, making it seem like extremely high speed (which it's not).

I'll get in a longer post tomorrow.
Radar
_________________________
There are 10 types of people. Those who know binary, and those who don't.

Top
#130009 - 01/17/06 09:55 PM Re: Do electrons Oscillate?
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and
Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
 Quote:

Do electrons vibrate/oscillate with a voltage applied?


I imagine they would shimmy quite a lot, when they are under pressure - especially since they would be bursting towards the outermost areas of a Conductor - vs - slipping in and out of various "Bands" and doing other neat Subatomic stuff


 Quote:

They can't flow without a path, but can they sit there and oscillate without a complete path?


Even if there isn't a "Physical" closed Circuit, if Conductors are connected to a Power Source
(something with an ample supply of free Electrons + holes for them to fall into - thus having a Potential Difference between the ends of the source),
there will still be currents flowing in the conductors.

This is known as "Line / Circuit Charging", and must take place on any AC or DC Power System.
The charging is Capacitive, in Parallel to the conductors connected to the power supply, and in series through the same conductors (via many methods - including skin effect).

The charge levels will constantly be changing, due to System Voltage, changes of the Proximity State (like if someone walks by the conductors, or something moves), and the normal leakage between the "Capacitive Plates" so to say (like how a typical Capacitor will leak a stored charge).

I would imagine all this shuffling around of charge states, would certainly gyrate Electrons (and holes), much like Elvis gyrated on stage!

Viewing a "Stable" Atomic model - something with a few layers, such as an Iron Atom, the Electrons orbiting the Kernel will be "Orbiting" the Kernel (AKA "Nucleus"), much like Planets orbit the Sun - or Satellites orbit the Planets.
As they orbit the Kernel, they are also rotating - just like Planets and Satellites rotate.
Since they are rotating and falling around the Kernel - along with how they are influenced by other Atoms / Molecules / Forces, and they may move into a lower power level valence, but are at the same time bound to orbit / fall around the Kernel at a certain power level - AND, there is a "Magnetic-ish" interaction placed on them, they most certainly Oscillate in their orbit.

They vibrate in fixed orbits, which at times become altered or erratic due to influences.

If it were possible to do so, looking at an Atom would appear more or less like a circular cloud mass, which has an ever changing "Ant Races" like effect ("Ant Races" refers to what is seen on a TV screen when a "Dead" or unused channel is selected - the static black and white dots you see).

The Kernel would be shrouded by the valences of Electrons.

This is - of course, all theory. If anyone has actually seen an Atom, please take pictures of it, post it on-line here at ECN, then describe what is seen.
...

It's been nice to go into the "Theory-Theory" stuff again! Been awhile for me!

Scott35
_________________________
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

Top
#130010 - 01/18/06 04:18 AM Re: Do electrons Oscillate?
Dnkldorf Offline
Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1091
Loc: nowhere usa
What I'm getting so far, is that with a pressure(voltage) applied, electrons would wobble, oscillate, gererally move around inside the conductor, without a complete path to generally flow.


Does this sound accurate?


Dnk...

Top
#130011 - 01/18/06 07:42 AM Re: Do electrons Oscillate?
Dave T Offline
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 157
Loc: Waukesha, WI, USA
James Maxwell, Andre-Marie Ampere,Hans Christian Oersted,Charles-Augustin de Coulomb, Isaac Newton's Ampere, were once involved in this stuff in one way or another. It appears as though there may be someone in this series of posts that will be adding their name to this list.
But anyhoe, the Apmere has been defined as
A unit of electric current in the meter-kilogram-second system. It is the steady current that when flowing in straight parallel wires of infinite length and negligible cross section, separated by a distance of one meter in free space, produces a force between the wires of 2 × 10-7 newtons per meter of length.
A unit in the International System specified as one International coulomb per second and equal to 0.999835 ampere.

The question is if coulomb is the number of electrons or is the number of charges. If is is the num,ber of charges then one charge is bumped to the next atom and that atom bumps the charge to the next but the electrons themselves really don't trave so to speak.

Top
Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 >



ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals