How does a metal conduct electricity?

Asked by  | 9th Aug, 2008, 04:11: PM

Expert Answer:

Metals are good conductors of electricity and heat because they have unfilled space in the valence energy band.  In the absence of an electric field, conduction electrons travel in all directions at very high velocities. Even at the coldest possible temperature — absolute zero — conduction electrons can still travel at the (the velocity of electrons at the Fermi energy). When an electric field is applied, a slight imbalance develops and mobile electrons flow. Electrons in this band can be accelerated by the field because there are plenty of nearby unfilled states in the band.

Answered by  | 12th Aug, 2008, 08:38: AM

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