How Fast Does Electricity Travel?

How Fast Does Electricity Travel?

In everyday life, we always use electricity almost in everything like cooking food, charging a phone and even driving our car. Have we ever once asked ourselves? Can we live without electricity? What is electricity? How fast does electricity travel? Maybe some of us already understand, that electric current is the flow of charge per unit of time

Have we ever thought, what is the speed of the electric current flowing? If you compare the electric current like a car that runs on a highway, then the car has speed. If the car is a metaphor of electrons, the electrons will move at a certain speed. Imagine that an electron moves in a transmission line from New York to LA, how long will the electron take? It could be fast and it could be slow but it’s not as slow as a car. Electricity is far faster than a car even if it is a supercar or racing car. Then, how fast it is?

According to research, the electric current flowing in a conductor is only a few micrometers per second. It’s nearly as fast as the speed of light. Superfast. However, it always depends on the medium. If an electron flows in a meter just 1 meter long, it will certainly take a very long time, especially if you travel from New York to LA. It’s not the matter,  If you examined more, the flow of electrons in a conductor moves to fill the hole left by other electrons. The flow of electrons in the conductor is not like a car that runs from the beginning to the end of the highway. Another parable is needed to understand the concept of electricity.

Imagine a hose flowing water. If the hose is completely empty, then it will certainly take a long time for the water to reach the end of the hose. But what if the hose already has the water before? of course, water will be pushed out of the hose due to pressure from the tap. It is the parable of the electric current in the conductor. The flowing electrons fill the holes left by the previous electrons. Each electron will fill each hole until the end of the conductor. This is the reason why the lamp turns on instantly when the switch is pressed because the electrons at the end of the cable are supported by the previous electrons due to the “pressure” of the potential difference applied

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