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CHAPTE R OUTLI N E

27.2 Resistance

27.3 A Model for Electrical

Conduction

27.4 Resistance and Temperature

27.5 Superconductors

27.6 Electrical Power

▲ These power lines transfer energy from the power company to homes and businesses.

The energy is transferred at a very high voltage, possibly hundreds of thousands of volts in

some cases. Despite the fact that this makes power lines very dangerous, the high voltage

results in less loss of power due to resistance in the wires. (Telegraph Colour Library/FPG)

831

Thus far our treatment of electrical phenomena has been confined to the study of

charges in equilibrium situations, or electrostatics. We now consider situations involving

electric charges that are not in equilibrium. We use the term electric current, or simply

current, to describe the rate of flow of charge through some region of space. Most prac-

tical applications of electricity deal with electric currents. For example, the battery in a

flashlight produces a current in the filament of the bulb when the switch is turned on.

A variety of home appliances operate on alternating current. In these common situa-

tions, current exists in a conductor, such as a copper wire. It also is possible for

currents to exist outside a conductor. For instance, a beam of electrons in a television

picture tube constitutes a current.

This chapter begins with the definition of current. A microscopic description of cur-

rent is given, and some of the factors that contribute to the opposition to the flow of

charge in conductors are discussed. A classical model is used to describe electrical con-

duction in metals, and some of the limitations of this model are cited. We also define

electrical resistance and introduce a new circuit element, the resistor. We conclude by

discussing the rate at which energy is transferred to a device in an electric circuit.

In this section, we study the flow of electric charges through a piece of material. The

amount of flow depends on the material through which the charges are passing and the

potential difference across the material. Whenever there is a net flow of charge through

some region, an electric current is said to exist.

It is instructive to draw an analogy between water flow and current. In many

localities it is common practice to install low-flow showerheads in homes as a water-

conservation measure. We quantify the flow of water from these and similar devices by

specifying the amount of water that emerges during a given time interval, which is

often measured in liters per minute. On a grander scale, we can characterize a river

+ current by describing the rate at which the water flows past a particular location. For

+

+ example, the flow over the brink at Niagara Falls is maintained at rates between

+ 1 400 m3/s and 2 800 m3/s.

+ There is also an analogy between thermal conduction and current. In Section 20.7,

A

we discussed the flow of energy by heat through a sample of material. The rate of

I energy flow is determined by the material as well as the temperature difference across

Figure 27.1 Charges in motion the material, as described by Equation 20.14.

through an area A. The time rate at

which charge flows through the To define current more precisely, suppose that charges are moving perpendicular to

area is defined as the current I. a surface of area A, as shown in Figure 27.1. (This area could be the cross-sectional area

The direction of the current is the of a wire, for example.) The current is the rate at which charge flows through this

direction in which positive charges surface. If !Q is the amount of charge that passes through this area in a time interval

flow when free to do so. !t, the average current I av is equal to the charge that passes through A per unit time:

∆Q

Iav " (27.1)

∆t

832

S ECTI O N 27.1 • Electric Current 833

If the rate at which charge flows varies in time, then the current varies in time; we

define the instantaneous current I as the differential limit of average current:

dQ

I! (27.2) Electric current

dt

1C

1A" (27.3)

1s

That is, 1 A of current is equivalent to 1 C of charge passing through the surface area

in 1 s.

The charges passing through the surface in Figure 27.1 can be positive or negative,

or both. It is conventional to assign to the current the same direction as the flow ▲ PITFALL PREVENTION

of positive charge. In electrical conductors, such as copper or aluminum, the current

27.1 “Current Flow” Is

is due to the motion of negatively charged electrons. Therefore, when we speak of

Redundant

current in an ordinary conductor, the direction of the current is opposite the

direction of flow of electrons. However, if we are considering a beam of positively The phrase current flow is com-

monly used, although it is strictly

charged protons in an accelerator, the current is in the direction of motion of the

incorrect, because current is a

protons. In some cases—such as those involving gases and electrolytes, for instance—

flow (of charge). This is similar

the current is the result of the flow of both positive and negative charges. to the phrase heat transfer, which

If the ends of a conducting wire are connected to form a loop, all points on the is also redundant because heat is

loop are at the same electric potential, and hence the electric field is zero within and a transfer (of energy). We will

at the surface of the conductor. Because the electric field is zero, there is no net avoid this phrase and speak of

transport of charge through the wire, and therefore there is no current. However, if flow of charge or charge flow.

the ends of the conducting wire are connected to a battery, all points on the loop are

not at the same potential. The battery sets up a potential difference between the ends

of the loop, creating an electric field within the wire. The electric field exerts forces on

the conduction electrons in the wire, causing them to move in the wire, thus creating a

current. ∆x

It is common to refer to a moving charge (positive or negative) as a mobile charge

carrier. For example, the mobile charge carriers in a metal are electrons.

vd

A

q

Microscopic Model of Current

We can relate current to the motion of the charge carriers by describing a microscopic

model of conduction in a metal. Consider the current in a conductor of cross-sectional vd ∆t

area A (Fig. 27.2). The volume of a section of the conductor of length !x (the gray Figure 27.2 A section of a uniform

region shown in Fig. 27.2) is A !x. If n represents the number of mobile charge conductor of cross-sectional area A.

carriers per unit volume (in other words, the charge carrier density), the number of The mobile charge carriers move

carriers in the gray section is nA !x. Therefore, the total charge !Q in this section is with a speed vd , and the displace-

ment they experience in the x

!Q " number of carriers in section # charge per carrier " (nA !x)q direction in a time interval !t is

!x " vd !t. If we choose !t to

where q is the charge on each carrier. If the carriers move with a speed vd , the displace- be the time interval during which

ment they experience in the x direction in a time interval !t is !x " vd !t. Let us the charges are displaced, on

choose !t to be the time interval required for the charges in the cylinder to move the average, by the length of the

cylinder, the number of carriers in

through a displacement whose magnitude is equal to the length of the cylinder. This the section of length !x is nAvd !t,

time interval is also that required for all of the charges in the cylinder to pass through where n is the number of carriers

the circular area at one end. With this choice, we can write !Q in the form per unit volume.

If we divide both sides of this equation by !t, we see that the average current in the

conductor is

∆Q Current in a conductor in terms

I av " " nqvdA (27.4)

∆t of microscopic quantities

834 C HAPTE R 27 • Current and Resistance

vd The speed of the charge carriers vd is an average speed called the drift speed. To

understand the meaning of drift speed, consider a conductor in which the charge car-

riers are free electrons. If the conductor is isolated—that is, the potential difference

– across it is zero—then these electrons undergo random motion that is analogous to the

motion of gas molecules. As we discussed earlier, when a potential difference is applied

across the conductor (for example, by means of a battery), an electric field is set up in

E the conductor; this field exerts an electric force on the electrons, producing a current.

Figure 27.3 A schematic However, the electrons do not move in straight lines along the conductor. Instead, they

representation of the zigzag collide repeatedly with the metal atoms, and their resultant motion is complicated and

motion of an electron in a zigzag (Fig. 27.3). Despite the collisions, the electrons move slowly along the conduc-

conductor. The changes in tor (in a direction opposite that of E) at the drift velocity vd .

direction are the result of collisions

between the electron and atoms in

We can think of the atom–electron collisions in a conductor as an effective internal

the conductor. Note that the net friction (or drag force) similar to that experienced by the molecules of a liquid flowing

motion of the electron is opposite through a pipe stuffed with steel wool. The energy transferred from the electrons to

the direction of the electric field. the metal atoms during collisions causes an increase in the vibrational energy of the

Because of the acceleration of the atoms and a corresponding increase in the temperature of the conductor.

charge carriers due to the electric

force, the paths are actually

parabolic. However, the drift speed

is much smaller than the average

speed, so the parabolic shape is not

Quick Quiz 27.1 Consider positive and negative charges moving horizon-

visible on this scale. tally through the four regions shown in Figure 27.4. Rank the current in these four

regions, from lowest to highest.

–

+ + – –

+ + +

– + +

– –

+ +

Figure 27.4 (Quick Quiz 27.1) Charges move through four regions.

arrives at a junction of wires, the charges can take either of two paths out of the junction

and the numerical sum of the currents in the two paths equals the current that entered

the junction. Thus, current is (a) a vector (b) a scalar (c) neither a vector nor a scalar.

The 12-gauge copper wire in a typical residential building 6.02 # 1023 electrons

" 1.00 #1 m10 #

6 cm3

has a cross-sectional area of 3.31 # 10$6 m2. If it carries a n"

7.09 cm3 3

current of 10.0 A, what is the drift speed of the electrons?

Assume that each copper atom contributes one free " 8.49 # 1028 electrons/m3

electron to the current. The density of copper is 8.95 g/cm3. From Equation 27.4, we find that the drift speed is

I

Solution From the periodic table of the elements in vd "

nqA

Appendix C, we find that the molar mass of copper is

63.5 g/mol. Recall that 1 mol of any substance contains where q is the absolute value of the charge on each electron.

Avogadro’s number of atoms (6.02 # 1023). Knowing the Thus,

density of copper, we can calculate the volume occupied by

I

63.5 g (" 1 mol) of copper: vd "

nqA

m 63.5 g 10.0 C/s

V" " " 7.09 cm3 "

% 8.95 g/cm3 (8.49 # 1028 m $3)(1.60 # 10 $19 C)(3.31 # 10 $6 m2)

Because each copper atom contributes one free electron to " 2.22 # 10 $4 m/s

the current, we have

S ECTI O N 27.2 • Resistance 835

Example 27.1 shows that typical drift speeds are very low. For instance, electrons

traveling with a speed of 2.22 # 10$4 m/s would take about 75 min to travel 1 m! In

▲ PITFALL PREVENTION

view of this, you might wonder why a light turns on almost instantaneously when a 27.2 Electrons Are

switch is thrown. In a conductor, changes in the electric field that drives the free Available Everywhere

electrons travel through the conductor with a speed close to that of light. Thus, Electrons do not have to travel from

when you flip on a light switch, electrons already in the filament of the lightbulb the light switch to the light in order

experience electric forces and begin moving after a time interval on the order of for the light to operate. Electrons

nanoseconds. already in the filament of the

lightbulb move in response to the

electric field set up by the battery.

Notice also that a battery does

27.2 Resistance not provide electrons to the

circuit. It establishes the electric

field that exerts a force on

In Chapter 24 we found that the electric field inside a conductor is zero. However, this electrons already in the wires and

statement is true only if the conductor is in static equilibrium. The purpose of this elements of the circuit.

section is to describe what happens when the charges in the conductor are not in equi-

librium, in which case there is an electric field in the conductor.

Consider a conductor of cross-sectional area A carrying a current I. The current

density J in the conductor is defined as the current per unit area. Because the current

I " nqvd A, the current density is

I

J ! " nqvd (27.5)

A

where J has SI units of A/m2. This expression is valid only if the current density is uni-

form and only if the surface of cross-sectional area A is perpendicular to the direction

of the current. In general, current density is a vector quantity:

From this equation, we see that current density is in the direction of charge motion

for positive charge carriers and opposite the direction of motion for negative

charge carriers.

A current density J and an electric field E are established in a conductor

whenever a potential difference is maintained across the conductor. In some

materials, the current density is proportional to the electric field:

where the constant of proportionality & is called the conductivity of the conductor.1

Materials that obey Equation 27.7 are said to follow Ohm’s law, named after Georg

Simon Ohm (1789–1854). More specifically, Ohm’s law states that

for many materials (including most metals), the ratio of the current density to the

electric field is a constant & that is independent of the electric field producing the

current.

Materials that obey Ohm’s law and hence demonstrate this simple relationship

between E and J are said to be ohmic. Experimentally, however, it is found that not all Georg Simon Ohm

materials have this property. Materials and devices that do not obey Ohm’s law are said German physicist (1789–1854)

to be nonohmic. Ohm’s law is not a fundamental law of nature but rather an empirical Ohm, a high school teacher and

relationship valid only for certain materials. later a professor at the University

We can obtain an equation useful in practical applications by considering a of Munich, formulated the

segment of straight wire of uniform cross-sectional area A and length !, as shown in concept of resistance and

discovered the proportionalities

expressed in Equations 27.7 and

27.8. (© Bettmann/Corbis)

1 Do not confuse conductivity & with surface charge density, for which the same symbol is used.

836 C HAPTE R 27 • Current and Resistance

▲ PITFALL PREVENTION !

Something Like A I

Equation 27.8 Before

Vb Va

In Chapter 5, we introduced

Newton’s second law, )F " ma, E

for a net force on an object of Figure 27.5 A uniform conductor of length ! and cross-sectional area A. A potential

mass m. This can be written as difference !V " Vb $ Va maintained across the conductor sets up an electric field E,

and this field produces a current I that is proportional to the potential difference.

m" %F

a

Figure 27.5. A potential difference !V " Vb $ Va is maintained across the wire, creat-

In that chapter, we defined mass ing in the wire an electric field and a current. If the field is assumed to be uniform, the

as resistance to a change in motion in potential difference is related to the field through the relationship2

response to an external force. Mass as

resistance to changes in motion is !V " E!

analogous to electrical resistance

Therefore, we can express the magnitude of the current density in the wire as

to charge flow, and Equation 27.8

is analogous to the form of ∆V

Newton’s second law shown here. J " &E " &

!

Because J " I/A, we can write the potential difference as

▲ PITFALL PREVENTION

∆V "

!

&

J" " &!A # I " R I

27.4 Equation 27.8 Is Not The quantity R " !/&A is called the resistance of the conductor. We can define the

Ohm’s Law resistance as the ratio of the potential difference across a conductor to the current in

Many individuals call Equation the conductor:

27.8 Ohm’s law, but this is incor-

rect. This equation is simply the ∆V

R ! (27.8)

definition of resistance, and pro- I

vides an important relationship

between voltage, current, and We will use this equation over and over again when studying electric circuits. From this

resistance. Ohm’s law is related result we see that resistance has SI units of volts per ampere. One volt per ampere is

to a linear relationship between J defined to be one ohm ('):

and E (Eq. 27.7) or, equivalently,

between I and !V, which, from 1V

1' ! (27.9)

Equation 27.8, indicates that the 1A

resistance is constant, indepen-

This expression shows that if a potential difference of 1 V across a conductor causes a

dent of the applied voltage.

current of 1 A, the resistance of the conductor is 1 '. For example, if an electrical

appliance connected to a 120-V source of potential difference carries a current of 6 A,

its resistance is 20 '.

The inverse of conductivity is resistivity3 % :

1

Resistivity is the inverse of %" (27.10)

conductivity &

where % has the units ohm-meters (' ( m). Because R " !/&A, we can express the

resistance of a uniform block of material along the length ! as

Resistance of a uniform !

material along the length ! R"% (27.11)

A

Vb $ Va " $ $

a

b

E(d s " E $!

0

dx " E !

3 Do not confuse resistivity % with mass density or charge density, for which the same symbol is used.

S ECTI O N 27.2 • Resistance 837

Resistivities and Temperature Coefficients of Resistivity

for Various Materials

27.5 Resistance and

Resistivity

Temperature Resistivity is property of a sub-

Material Resistivitya(' ( m) Coefficientb ![(!C)$1] stance, while resistance is a prop-

Silver 1.59 # 10$ 8 3.8 # 10$ 3

erty of an object. We have seen

similar pairs of variables before.

Copper 1.7 # 10$ 8 3.9 # 10$ 3

For example, density is a prop-

Gold 2.44 # 10$ 8 3.4 # 10$ 3

erty of a substance, while mass is

Aluminum 2.82 # 10$ 8 3.9 # 10$ 3 a property of an object. Equation

Tungsten 5.6 # 10$ 8 4.5 # 10$ 3 27.11 relates resistance to resistiv-

Iron 10 # 10$ 8 5.0 # 10$ 3 ity, and we have seen a previous

Platinum 11 # 10$ 8 3.92 # 10$ 3 equation (Equation 1.1) which

Lead 22 # 10$ 8 3.9 # 10$ 3 relates mass to density.

Nichromec 1.50 # 10$ 6 0.4 # 10$ 3

Carbon 3.5 # 10$ 5 $ 0.5 # 10$ 3

Germanium 0.46 $ 48 # 10$ 3

Silicon 640 $ 75 # 10$ 3

Glass 1010 to 1014

Hard rubber &1013

Sulfur 1015

Quartz (fused) 75 # 1016

b See Section 27.4.

c A nickel–chromium alloy commonly used in heating elements.

Every ohmic material has a characteristic resistivity that depends on the properties of

the material and on temperature. Additionally, as you can see from Equation 27.11, the

resistance of a sample depends on geometry as well as on resistivity. Table 27.1 gives

the resistivities of a variety of materials at 20°C. Note the enormous range, from very

low values for good conductors such as copper and silver, to very high values for good

insulators such as glass and rubber. An ideal conductor would have zero resistivity, and

an ideal insulator would have infinite resistivity.

Equation 27.11 shows that the resistance of a given cylindrical conductor such as a

wire is proportional to its length and inversely proportional to its cross-sectional area.

If the length of a wire is doubled, then its resistance doubles. If its cross-sectional area

is doubled, then its resistance decreases by one half. The situation is analogous to the

flow of a liquid through a pipe. As the pipe’s length is increased, the resistance to flow

increases. As the pipe’s cross-sectional area is increased, more liquid crosses a given

cross section of the pipe per unit time interval. Thus, more liquid flows for the same

pressure differential applied to the pipe, and the resistance to flow decreases.

Henry Leap and Jim Lehman

838 C HAPTE R 27 • Current and Resistance

Table 27.2

Color Coding for Resistors

Color Number Multiplier Tolerance

Black 0 1

Brown 1 101

Red 2 102

Orange 3 103

Yellow 4 104

SuperStock

Green 5 105

Blue 6 106

Figure 27.6 The colored bands on a resistor represent a code for Violet 7 107

determining resistance. The first two colors give the first two digits in the Gray 8 108

resistance value. The third color represents the power of ten for the

White 9 109

multiplier of the resistance value. The last color is the tolerance of the

resistance value. As an example, the four colors on the circled resistors are Gold 10$ 1 5%

red (" 2), black (" 0), orange (" 103), and gold (" 5%), and so the Silver 10$ 2 10%

resistance value is 20 # 103 ' " 20 k' with a tolerance value of 5% " 1 k'. Colorless 20%

(The values for the colors are from Table 27.2.)

Most electric circuits use circuit elements called resistors to control the current

level in the various parts of the circuit. Two common types of resistors are the composi-

tion resistor, which contains carbon, and the wire-wound resistor, which consists of a coil of

wire. Values of resistors in ohms are normally indicated by color-coding, as shown in

Figure 27.6 and Table 27.2.

Ohmic materials and devices have a linear current–potential difference relation-

ship over a broad range of applied potential differences (Fig. 27.7a). The slope of the

I-versus-!V curve in the linear region yields a value for 1/R. Nonohmic materials have

a nonlinear current–potential difference relationship. One common semiconducting

device that has nonlinear I-versus-!V characteristics is the junction diode (Fig. 27.7b).

The resistance of this device is low for currents in one direction (positive !V ) and

high for currents in the reverse direction (negative !V ). In fact, most modern

electronic devices, such as transistors, have nonlinear current–potential difference

relationships; their proper operation depends on the particular way in which they

violate Ohm’s law.

Quick Quiz 27.3 Suppose that a current-carrying ohmic metal wire has a

cross-sectional area that gradually becomes smaller from one end of the wire to the

other. The current must have the same value in each section of the wire so that charge

does not accumulate at any one point. How do the drift velocity and the resistance per

I I

Slope = 1

R

!V !V

(a) (b)

Figure 27.7 (a) The current–potential difference curve for an ohmic material. The

curve is linear, and the slope is equal to the inverse of the resistance of the conductor.

(b) A nonlinear current–potential difference curve for a junction diode. This device

does not obey Ohm’s law.

S ECTI O N 27.2 • Resistance 839

unit length vary along the wire as the area becomes smaller? (a) The drift velocity and

resistance both increase. (b) The drift velocity and resistance both decrease. (c) The

drift velocity increases and the resistance decreases. (d) The drift velocity decreases

and the resistance increases.

Quick Quiz 27.4 A cylindrical wire has a radius r and length !. If both r and !

are doubled, the resistance of the wire (a) increases (b) decreases (c) remains the same.

Quick Quiz 27.5 In Figure 27.7b, as the applied voltage increases, the resis-

tance of the diode (a) increases (b) decreases (c) remains the same.

Calculate the resistance of an aluminum cylinder that Similarly, for glass we find that

has a length of 10.0 cm and a cross-sectional area of

2.00 # 10$4 m2. Repeat the calculation for a cylinder of the

same dimensions and made of glass having a resistivity of

R"%

!

A

" (3.0 # 1010 '(m) " 2.000.100

# 10 m #

m

$4 2

" 1.5 # 1013 '

Solution From Equation 27.11 and Table 27.1, we can cal-

culate the resistance of the aluminum cylinder as follows: As you might guess from the large difference in resistivities,

the resistances of identically shaped cylinders of aluminum

R"%

!

A

" (2.82 # 10 $8 '(m) " 2.000.100

# 10 m #

m

$4 2

and glass differ widely. The resistance of the glass cylinder is

18 orders of magnitude greater than that of the aluminum

cylinder.

" 1.41 # 10 $5 '

(A) Calculate the resistance per unit length of a 22-gauge Solution Because a 1.0-m length of this wire has a resis-

Nichrome wire, which has a radius of 0.321 mm. tance of 4.6 ', Equation 27.8 gives

I" " " 2.2 A

R 4.6 '

A " *r 2 " *(0.321 # 10 $3 m)2 " 3.24 # 10 $7 m2

Note from Table 27.1 that the resistivity of Nichrome wire is

The resistivity of Nichrome is 1.5 # 10$ 6 ' ( m (see about 100 times that of copper. A copper wire of the same

Table 27.1). Thus, we can use Equation 27.11 to find the radius would have a resistance per unit length of only

resistance per unit length: 0.052 '/m. A 1.0-m length of copper wire of the same

radius would carry the same current (2.2 A) with an applied

R % 1.5 # 10 $6 '(m

" " " 4.6 '/m potential difference of only 0.11 V.

! A 3.24 # 10 $7 m2

Because of its high resistivity and its resistance to

oxidation, Nichrome is often used for heating elements in

(B) If a potential difference of 10 V is maintained across a toasters, irons, and electric heaters.

1.0-m length of the Nichrome wire, what is the current in

the wire?

Explore the resistance of different materials at the Interactive Worked Example link at http://www.pse6.com.

Coaxial cables are used extensively for cable television and silicon, in the radial direction, is unwanted. (The cable is

other electronic applications. A coaxial cable consists of designed to conduct current along its length—this is not

two concentric cylindrical conductors. The region the current we are considering here.) The radius of the

between the conductors is completely filled with silicon, as inner conductor is a " 0.500 cm, the radius of the outer

shown in Figure 27.8a, and current leakage through the one is b " 1.75 cm, and the length is L " 15.0 cm.

840 C HAPTE R 27 • Current and Resistance

dr Current

direction

Silicon

a r

Inner Outer

conductor conductor End view

(a) (b)

Figure 27.8 (Example 27.4) A coaxial cable. (a) Silicon fills the gap between the two

conductors. (b) End view, showing current leakage.

Calculate the resistance of the silicon between the two Substituting in the values given, and using % " 640 ' ( m for

conductors. silicon, we obtain

suggested in the text of the problem. The desired current is

R"

640 '(m

2*(0.150 m)

ln " 0.500 cm #

1.75 cm

" 851 '

To finalize this problem, let us compare this resistance to

undesired current corresponds to charge leakage through

that of the inner conductor of the cable along the 15.0-cm

the silicon and its direction is radial. Because we know the

length. Assuming that the conductor is made of copper, we

resistivity and the geometry of the silicon, we categorize this

have

as a problem in which we find the resistance of the silicon

" *(5.000.150 #

from these parameters, using Equation 27.11. Because the ! m

area through which the charges pass depends on the radial R"% " (1.7 # 10 $8 '(m)

A # 10$3 m)2

position, we must use integral calculus to determine the

" 3.2 # 10 $5 '

answer.

To analyze the problem, we divide the silicon into con- This resistance is much smaller than the radial resistance. As

centric elements of infinitesimal thickness dr (Fig. 27.8b). a consequence, almost all of the current corresponds to

We start by using the differential form of Equation 27.11, charge moving along the length of the cable, with a very

replacing ! with r for the distance variable: dR " % dr/A, small fraction leaking in the radial direction.

where dR is the resistance of an element of silicon of

thickness dr and surface area A. In this example, we take as What If? Suppose the coaxial cable is enlarged to twice the

our representative concentric element a hollow silicon cylin- overall diameter with two possibilities: (1) the ratio b/a is

der of radius r, thickness dr, and length L, as in Figure 27.8. held fixed, or (2) the difference b " a is held fixed. For which

Any charge that passes from the inner conductor to the possibility does the leakage current between the inner and

outer one must pass radially through this concentric ele- outer conductors increase when the voltage is applied

ment, and the area through which this charge passes is between the two conductors?

A " 2*rL. (This is the curved surface area—circumference

multiplied by length—of our hollow silicon cylinder of Answer In order for the current to increase, the resistance

thickness dr.) Hence, we can write the resistance of our must decrease. For possibility (1), in which b/a is held fixed,

hollow cylinder of silicon as Equation (1) tells us that the resistance is unaffected. For

% possibility (2), we do not have an equation involving the dif-

dR " dr ference b $ a to inspect. Looking at Figure 27.8b, however,

2*rL

we see that increasing b and a while holding the voltage

Because we wish to know the total resistance across the constant results in charge flowing through the same

entire thickness of the silicon, we must integrate this expres- thickness of silicon but through a larger overall area perpen-

sion from r " a to r " b: dicular to the flow. This larger area will result in lower resis-

tance and a higher current.

(1) R" $a

b

dR "

%

2*L

$a

b dr

r

"

%

2*L

ln " ab #

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