23rd November 2007 - 10:55 AM
What is electricity? I don't believe anyone really knows. Sure, there are theories, but no solid proof.
At what voltage does electricity actually approach the speed of light? Is it 1 volt? 250k volts? How much voltaic pressure,(difference potential) would it take to alter the speed of electricity?
Does an electron need the presence of a proton to emit EM wave energy? My quick answer is no. On the flip side, bare protons cannot emit EM wave energy, allegedly.
Does an electron need the presence of a proton to generate 'electricity?' You bet your ***.
Pretty sure that electrons travel very slow, at least they do in my plasma ball, which is nitrogen injected. Which brings up the fact that the presence of matter is required for electricity, where light requires no matter to travel in empty space.
These are 2 separate energies. It's my opinion that integrating light and electricity too close together in an effort to understand either is counterproductive in understanding their intricacies.
1. We know what electricity is. It is the flow of charged particles. Voltage is joules per coulomb. That is, energy per bunch of particles. Energetic particles exhibit a higher voltage. generally we think of flow of electrons. Electrons travel slowly through wire. The effect of the voltage travels quickly. Kind of like turning on a hose. Or pushing on a pipe full of ping-pong balls. The actual drift speed of electrons through a 0.5mm wire carrying 5 amperes (5 coulombs per second) is about 1mm per second. Remember that electric current can also be due to the flow of ionized molecules (like in a lead acid battery) or positively charged particles (protons, for example)
2. The voltage has nothing to do with the speed of electricity through a wire. The velocity of propagation
(look that up on wikipedia) is determined by the inductive and capacitive characteristics of the wire carrying the electricity. Generally a copper wire is about .75c or less. Light in a vacuum is 1.014ns per foot. But, maybe that is not the question you are asking.
The speed of electrons through free space is affected by their energy, therfore their voltage. A 30,000 volt CRT accelerates electrons to about 0.3c.
The stanford linear accelerator accelerates electrons to .9999+c at 51 GeV
3. A traveling electron constitutes a current, and therefore produces an magnetic field. I consider a traveling proton to be a traveling charge also and therefore it will produce a magnetic field.
4. An electron beam is electricity (like in a CRT monitor or TV set) and that electron beam constitutes electricity. A traveling electron IS electricity, in and of itself. Electricity (electrons) can travel through a vacuum so matter is not required.
5. The electrons in your plasma ball travel pretty fast. The patterns they make change "slowly", but the electrons are pretty quick (maybe .01C, assuming 3,000 volts). Not something you can see.
Electricity is about current flow. There is a difference between current flow and electromagnetic fields. Current flow causes electromagnetic fields. Light is electromagnetic radiation. So, yes, keep them separate.