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stationary and located in free space (vacuum) or air. If we place charge

within a gas, solid or liquid material, the charge associated with the

material atoms will be affected. Also, under the influence of the applied

electric field, charges not bound by other forces (free charges) may be set

in motion (electric current).

measured in units of Amperes (Ampere = Coulomb/second).

direction constitutes a positive component of the overall current flowing

in the ax direction.

Material Classification Based on Conductivity

material to conduct current. Conductivity is measured in units of S/m or

/m. The inverse of conductivity is resistivity (Dc = 1/F). For elements,

the structure of the element atom dictates the conductivity of the element.

Specifically, the element conductivity is related to the strength of the bonds

between the outer (valence) electrons and the atom nucleus.

Centroid of the nucleus charge - atom center electrically neutral.

Centroid of the overall electron charge - atom center @ (DV = 0, V = 0, E = 0)

valence electron and the atom nucleus is broken, the electron becomes a

free electron or conduction electron. Materials are classified as

conductors, insulators, or semiconductors based on the strength of these

bonds between the valence electrons and the atom nucleus. The stronger

the bond between the valence electrons and the nucleus in a particular

material, the fewer free electrons are available for conduction.

The values of conductivity designated at the boundaries between

material types are defined differently by many authors. Since conductivity

is, in general, a function of temperature, comparisons of conductivity are

made at a constant temperature (reference temperature, usually To = 20oC).

The dependence of resistivity on temperature may be expressed as

where Dco is the material resistivity at the reference temperature To and "

is the temperature coefficient for the material. Certain conductors and

oxides exhibit superconductivity at temperatures near absolute zero (0K =

!273oC) where the resistivity of the material drops abruptly to zero.

Examples (Conductivity in S/m at T = 20oC)

Insulators Semiconductors Conductors

Porcelain (10!12) Silicon (4.410!4 ) Silver (6.1107 )

Glass (10!12) Germanium (2.2) Copper (5.8107 )

Mica (10!15) Gold (4.1107 )

Wax (10!17 ) Aluminum (3.5107 )

Carbon (3104 )

Ideal Models

Perfect Insulator (F = 0) Perfect conductor (F = 4)

Current Types

Currents that flow in conductors are only one of three different types

of currents. The three types of currents are:

Example - current in a copper wire.

(2) Convection current (current through an insulator)

Example - electron beam in a CRT.

(3) Displacement current (time-varying effect to be studied later)

Example - AC current in a capacitor.

currents given the different mechanisms involved.

For a current density J (A/m2) associated with any type of current, the

total current I passing through a given surface S is defined as

component of the current normal to the surface . The scalar result of this

integral is the magnitude of the total current flowing in the direction of the

unit normal. For the special case when the current density is uniform over

the surface S,

where A is the total area of the surface S. The total current in Amperes

(Coulomb/second) represents the amount of charge passing through the

surface per second. A total current of 1 mA means that a net charge of 1

mC is passing through the surface each second.

Convection Current

insulating medium (example: an electron beam in a cathode-ray tube).

Thus, the equation defining convection current density is independent of

the conductivity of the medium since the medium characteristics

(insulator) do not affect the current. The medium through which the

convection current flows is typically a very good insulator (very low

conductivity). Convection current is defined in terms of the free charge

density in the current (DV) and the vector drift velocity (u) of the charge in

the current. The drift velocity is the average velocity at which the charge

is moving.

over the cross section of the convection current.

Conduction Current

current medium is a conductor rather than an insulator. A simple example

of conduction current is the current flowing in a conducting wire. If a

voltage V is applied to a cylindrical conductor (conductivity = F, length =

l, cross-sectional area = A), a conduction current results.

The potential difference between the ends of the conductor means that an

electric field exists within the conductor (pointing from the region of

higher potential to the region of lower potential). The conduction current

can be defined in the same way as convection current using the free charge

density (DV) and the vector drift velocity (u).

in a conductor may be written as the product of the electric field (E) and

the conductor mobility (:).

The mobility of a material is a measure of how efficiently free

carriers can move through the material. Since typical conductors (metals)

are dense materials, the free electrons accelerated under the influence of

the electric field frequently collide with atom nuclei and other electrons.

The resulting particle motion looks somewhat random but has a net

component of motion in the direction opposite to the electric field (average

velocity of all like carriers = drift velocity of that carrier). Inserting the

drift velocity formula into the current density equation yields the

conduction current density in terms of the electric field:

electric field is also uniform (J = FE). The voltage between the ends of the

wire can be expressed as the line integral of the electric field.

Thus, the voltage and the uniform electric field may be written as

where

Resistance of a cylinder (length = l, cross-

sectional area = A, conductivity = F) carrying

a uniform current density

If the current density is not uniform, the resistance formula becomes

The power density inside the conductor is found by forming the dot

product of the vector electric field and the vector current density.

power density throughout the conductor.

1 mm, length = 20 cm) carries a current of 1 mA. Assuming a uniform

current density, determine

(a.) the wire resistance.

(b.) the current density.

(c.) the electric field within the wire.

(d.) the drift velocity of the electrons in the wire.

Perfect Conductor (F = 4)

R=0

Equipotential volume

E=0 @

Perfect Insulator (F = 0)

R=4

J=0

Polarization in Dielectrics

dielectrics. When an electric field is applied to a dielectric atom, an effect

known as polarization results. With no electric field applied, the centroid

of the (negative) electron charge is coincident with the centroid of the

(positive) nucleus charge such that the atom is electrically neutral. When

an electric field is applied to the atom, the positively charged nucleus is

displaced in the direction of the electric field while the centroid of the

negative electron charge is displaced in the direction opposite to the

electric field. The dielectric atom is thus polarized and may be modeled

as an equivalent electric dipole.

If a voltage V is applied to a cylindrical insulator (conductivity = F,

length = l, cross-sectional area = A), the insulator is polarized. If the

electric field is assumed to be uniform, then the electric field within the

insulator is E = V/l.

flux density component which is included in the electric flux density

equation as the vector polarization P.

The polarization P is defined as the dipole moment per unit volume such

that

polarization vector P is proportional to the electric field E, we may write

definition of P into the electric flux equation gives

where

Note that the electric susceptibility Pe and the relative permittivity ,r are

both measures of the polarization within a given material. The larger the

value of Pe or ,r for the material, the more polarization within the material.

For free space (vacuum), there is no polarization such that

P=0 Y Pe = 0 or ,r = 1

typically model our atmosphere with the free space permittivity.

The magnitude of the polarization in a dielectric increases with the

magnitude of the applied electric field (the equivalent dipole moments

grow with the electric field magnitude). For a good insulator, the bonds

between the atom nuclei and the valence electrons are very strong and can

withstand very large electric fields. The electric field level at which these

bonds are broken, and the insulator begins to conduct (breakdown), is

designated as the dielectric strength. Some typical values of dielectric

strengths for some common insulators are:

Mica 70 MV/m

Glass 35 MV/m

Air 3 MV/m

The total charge density (DT) in an insulating material consists of the

free conduction charge density (Dv) plus the bound polarization charge

density (Dvp).

see that the divergence of the electric flux density yields the free charge

density.

If we insert the expression for the electric flux density in terms of the

polarization and the free charge density in terms of the total charge density,

we find

The divergence of the polarization vector gives the negative of the bound

polarization charge density.

Media Classifications

constants: conductivity (F), permittivity (,), and permeability (:). The

permeability will be defined later when we study magnetic fields. The

following media classifications are made based on the characteristics of the

medium constants.

Homogeneous medium - electrical properties do not vary with position.

Isotropic medium - electrical properties do not vary with field direction.

Continuity Equation

relationship between current and charge. That is, a net current in or out of

a given volume must equal the net increase of decrease in the total charge

in the volume. If we define a surface S enclosing a volume V, the net

current out of the volume (Iout) is defined by

outward pointing normal. If the

current I is a DC current, then the

net current out of the volume is

zero (as much current flows out as flows in). For a time-varying current,

the net current out of the volume may be non-zero and can be expressed in

terms of the change in the total charge within the volume (Q).

The previous equation is the integral form of the continuity equation. The

differential form of the continuity equation can be found by applying the

divergence theorem to the surface integral and expressing the total charge

in terms of the charge density.

The second and last terms in the equation above yield integrals that are

valid for any volume V that we may choose.

Since the previous equation is valid for any volume V, we may equate the

integrands of the integrals (the only way for the integrals to yield the same

value for any volume V is for the integrands to be equal). This yields the

continuity equation.

The continuity equation is given in differential form and relates the current

density at a given point to the charge density at that point. For steady

currents (DC currents), the charge density does not change with time so

that

the divergence of the current density is always zero.

Given a circuit node connecting a system of N wires (assuming DC

currents) enclosed by a spherical surface S, the integral form of the

continuity equation gives

The integral form of the continuity equation (and thus Kirchhoffs current

law) also holds true for time-varying (AC) currents if we let the surface S

shrink to zero around the node.

Electric Field Boundary Conditions

between distinct materials is necessary to solve many common problems

in electromagnetics. The fundamental boundary conditions involving

electric fields relate the tangential components of electric field and the

normal components of electric flux density on either side of the media

interface.

electric field at a media interface, we evaluate the line integral of the

electric field along a closed incremental path that extends into both regions

as shown below.

The closed line integral of the electric field yields a result of zero such that

the vertical paths vanish.

The integrals along the upper and lower paths on either side of the interface

reduce to

where the electric field components are assumed to be constant over the

paths of length )x. Dividing the result by )x gives

or

are continuous across a media interface.

Et 2 = 0 and

the surface of a perfect conductor is zero.

Normal Electric Flux Density

flux density at a media interface, we apply Gausss law to an incremental

volume that extends into both regions as shown below.

contributions on the four sides of the volume vanish.

The integrals over the upper and lower surfaces on either side of the

interface reduce to

where the electric flux density is assumed to be constant over the upper and

lower incremental surfaces. Evaluation of the surface integrals yields

Dividing by )x )y gives

density across the media interface is equal to the charge

density on the interface.

are continuous across a charge-free media interface.

Dn2 = 0 and

The normal component of electric flux density on

the surface of a perfect conductor equals the

surface charge density.

The following statements describe the characteristics of a perfect

conductor under static conditions:

(2) Dv = 0 inside the conductor [free charge, if present, lies on the

outer surface of the conductor (Ds)].

(3) The conductor is an equipotential volume.

(4) Tangential E on the surface of the conductor is zero.

(5) Normal D on the surface of the conductor equals Ds.

(6) The electric field lines are normal to the surface of the

conductor.

Example (Polarization/Boundary conditions)

,r1=2.5 is surrounded by another dielectric

(region 2) of permittivity ,r2 =10. Given an

electric field inside the cylinder of

(a.)

(b.)

Example (Boundary conditions)

below given E1 (or D1).

field and electric flux vectors in the two regions in terms of the two angles

21 and 22 measured with respect to the normal to the interface.

According to the geometry of the field and flux components, we see

that

The electric field and electric flux density boundary conditions on the

charge-free boundary are

such that

Given both media characteristics and the direction of the field in one of the

regions, the direction of the field in the other region can be determined

using this formula.

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