How fast does electricity travel through copper wire?

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Major VonRueden asked a question: How fast does electricity travel through copper wire?
Asked By: Major VonRueden
Date created: Sun, Mar 7, 2021 11:24 AM
Date updated: Mon, Aug 29, 2022 6:21 AM

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In the case of an electrical cord connecting a table lamp or some other household item to a power source, the copper wire inside the cord acts as the conductor. This energy travels as electromagnetic waves at about the speed of light, which is 670,616,629 miles per hour,1 or 300 million meters per second.

The drift velocity in a 2 mm diameter copper wire in 1 ampere current is approximately 8 cm per hour.

  • The drift velocity of electrons through a copper wire of cross-sectional area 3.00 x 10 -6 m 2, carrying a 10A current, is approximately 2.5 x 10 -4 m/s, or one-fourth of a millimeter per second!

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