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Name: Dorian
Status: student
Age: 13
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001

At what speed do electrons move and how often do they hit other electrons?

Dorian -

Electrical force travels fast... nearly the speed of light. The actual electrons move rather slowly. They do not contact each other. Having like negative charges, they repel each other with greater force as they approach each other. The force follows the inverse square law - 1/2 the distance... 4 times the force. As the distance between them approaches zero, the force of repulsion approached infinity. As they flow, they would likely never have this kind of energy available.

Larry Krengel

Hi Dorian: Speed of an electron has to do with the temperature of that object. For example, the electrons in an ice cube move very slow, where as the electrons in a pot of boiling water move very fast. If you want specifics, electrons inside a metal at room temperature have an average speed of a few million kilometers per hour.

Katie Page

In order to answer your question, I'd have to know what are the conditions and the experimental setup. The speed of electrons can vary from essentially zero to extremely close to their maximum possible speed, the speed of light.

For example, an electron trapped in an ionic crystal at low temperature and in the absence of electric and magnetic fields pretty much stays put. However, in a large accelorator the electron can accelarated so that it moves at very nearly the speed of light.


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