5D10.40 - Resistance in a Wire Model
Simulate resistance in a wire.
Gather resistance in a wire model. Lift the box on one end. The ping pong balls will bounce down through the pegs.
Lift one end of the box so that gravity pulls down on the ping-pong balls so that they run into the wooden pegs as they fall.
Electrons inside conductors flow in the opposite direction of the applied electric field. Majority of materials have periodic crystal structures made of atoms called unit cells. The flowing electrons inside materials will run into the atoms of the unit cell adding energy to them in the form of vibration, which is represented as heat or temperature. The more electrons that flow, the greater the number of collisions, and therefore the greater amount of current that turns into heat. This is represented by the power equation for heat loss, P = (I^2)R. Resistance is our standard way of measuring the amount of collisions a material will have given a specific dimensions and resistivity. The distance between electron and crystal structure collisions is called its "mean free path". 2-D dimensional materials such as graphene have almost infinite mean free paths, and has the highest normal conductivity of any known material. It's because the electrons have nothing to collide with.