Drift velocity in a current-carrying metallic conductor


The drift velocity is the average velocity that a particle, such as an electron, attains due to an electric field. In general, an electron will 'rattle around’ randomly in a conductor at the Fermi velocity. An applied electric field will give this random motion a small net velocity in one direction. In a right-cylindrical current-carrying metallic conductor, where the charge-carriers are electrons, the drift velocity is depended basically on the properties of the metallic conductor.

Related formulas


vdriftdrift velocity of the electrons (m/s)
Mmolar mass of the metal (kg/mol)
Vvoltage applied across the conductor (V)
ddensity of the conductor (kg/m3)
NAAvogadro constant
llength of the conductor (m)
eatomic unit of charge
fnumber of free electrons per atom (dimensionless)
ρ0resistivity of the conductor at 0 °C (ohm*m)
α0temperature coefficient of resistivity of the conductor at 0 °C (K-1)
Ttemperature of the conductor (K)