Drift velocity of free Electrons

Drift velocity of free Electrons


  • When potential difference (or voltage) is applied across the ends of a metallic wire, the free electrons start drifting towards the positive terminal of the source. The average velocity with which free from electrons get drifted in a metallic conductor under the influence of potential difference is called DRIFT VELOCITY of the free electrons. The drift velocity of free electrons is very small,of the order of 10^-5 ms^-1                                     


  • Imp. Note:- The reader may wounder that if electrons drift so slowly, how room light turns on quickly when switch is closed ? Here Answer is that propagation of electric field is takes place with the speed of light.                                                                            
  • When we are applying electric field (i.e., potential difference) to a wire, the free electrons everywhere in the wire begin drifting almost at the once.

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