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1. Junior Member
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Aug 2008
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6
Originally Posted by ridesideways
me and some friends got into a discussion with this redneck guy from fairbanks, alaska about how fast electricity travels along a wire. he was convinced that it traveled 1 foot per second-- he had seen it on a science show. we kept giving him examples of lightning, etc., and explaining it traveled incredibly fast at nearly the speed of light. but he is not listening-- he knows better than us.
The electrons move about the speed of sound. Electricity moves much faster... Imagine a stack of billiard ***** and you hit the one end with a cue ball.

2. Originally Posted by lotechman
The electrons move about the speed of sound. Electricity moves much faster... Imagine a stack of billiard ***** and you hit the one end with a cue ball.
What electrons move at the speed of sound? So by your figures a person
in New York could be calling someone in California on the house phone to say
"Hello" but the person in California still has time to leave and do some shopping before the phone even starts ringing.

3. Senior Member
Join Date
Jun 2004
Location
nj
Posts
204
His analogy is correct.

There are several speeds associated with electric current

The velocity of individual electrons at a given instant, which ranges from zero to several thousand meters per second in a metal.

The drift velocity, which is the average velocity of all of the electrons in a conductor carrying current. Zero if there is no current, to several meters per second in a high-current density conductor

The velocity of the influence (non-technical term... this is where the billiard ball analogy comes in), which is near the speed of light (about half) in most conductors. The influence is due to the interaction between electrons' electric fields. This influence works at the speed of light (the carrier particle is photons) between individual electrons, but the net effect in a bulk conductor is slower for a variety of reasons.

4. Senior Member
Join Date
Jul 2007
Location
Southern NH
Posts
233
Originally Posted by monte55
Actually you guys didn't come out looking too smart on that one......sorry...I callesm as I seesem.
ehh...? so are you saying you agree with the 1 ft/sec guy? that's pretty funny actually

Originally Posted by lotechman
The electrons move about the speed of sound. Electricity moves much faster... Imagine a stack of billiard ***** and you hit the one end with a cue ball.
we weren't arguing about how fast a single electron vibrates or moves, we were arguing about how fast an electric voltage propagates along a wire. the guy had probably seen some show that talked about drift velocity for a single electron, but he was applying to mean propagation speed of a voltage.

this is strange. it sounds to me like we have some of our very own "not so bright" right here on our message board.

5. Originally Posted by ridesideways
ehh...? so are you saying you agree with the 1 ft/sec guy? that's pretty funny actually

we weren't arguing about how fast a single electron vibrates or moves, we were arguing about how fast an electric voltage propagates along a wire. the guy had probably seen some show that talked about drift velocity for a single electron, but he was applying to mean propagation speed of a voltage.

this is strange. it sounds to me like we have some of our very own "not so bright" right here on our message board.
Not sure I read your post correctly.......1 foot per sec for electrons...not me....but some electrons could be really lazy..like people.

Now the speed of light vs the speed of electricity....both will change speed dependant on what mediam? they are traveling through. Light can be reflected, refracted, absorbed etc which dicate its speed at that point. Not so sure on what affects electrons speed other than the material, (air, metal etc)size, conductivity(resistance)EMFetc. If anyone has the knowledge to enlighten us, please do so. But if you are just making up crap, we'll call you on it.

6. Member
Join Date
Feb 2006
Location
Sacramento CA
Posts
80
Put a light on the end of a 50' extension cord. Flip the switch and count to 50.

7. Originally Posted by KEENAVV
Put a light on the end of a 50' extension cord. Flip the switch and count to 50.
I guess with a 50 ft cord the electricity could never get up to full speed before it had to start slowing down again or it could crash right through light at the end

8. Senior Member
Join Date
Jan 2008
Location
VA
Posts
298
They move even slower if the cord is coiled up as they have to go around all the corners.

9. Junior Member
Join Date
Jul 2008
Location
Southwest Mississippi
Posts
4

## Better Watch What You Say...

This happened to me some time back....Still get a laugh out of it every time I think about it or go to the steel yard.

I called a local steel yard to order materials and check availability of some items.
I was reading off my list, and was down to the last 2 items. The lady on the other end was very nice and had one of those killer voices. I asked if she had 3/4" black nipples...She asked me to hold a moment. She came back on the line and told me, "I'm sorry, but, mine are not quite that big...."

Never in my life was I ever caught for lack of words..... and talk about being embarrassed when I went to pick the materials up.

10. Member
Join Date
Jan 2008
Posts
87
LOL
I've got one close to that. I had lost the screw that holds the temple piece onto my glasses. I walked up to the counter at one of those glasses while you wait places in the mall. When the attractive older lady asked how she could help me I took off my glasses and said "i need a screw". without missing a beat, she replied "sir, I'm not that kind of lady" I know i must have turned about 20 shades of red.

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