|MadSci Network: Physics|
Hi, I'm a curious amature when it comes to physics, but I like getting to the bottom of things. I've been trying to understand how one kind of energy gets transformed into heat. I ran across an article here that attempted to answer a similar question, but, with all due respect, I didn't think it really explained what's goin on. (http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/nov2000/973264612.Ph.q.html) So, I'd like to revisit the question posted earlier and hope to get a more complete insight into interworkings of matter. In summary, how does the electric current heat up a resistor? Facts/premises: 1. Heat is the degree of atom vibration and atom/molecule round-about movement, which is kinetic energy. Question: what specifically determines the atom vibration or excitement; is it speed of the electrons, their orbit (radius) around nucleus, quark spin, color charge etc. ? 2. Free electrons are what the electricity really is and they're of no concern here, since they keep moving along .... it's the stable, or "glued" electrons that are of a particular interest: 3. Those electrons don't fall into the nuclei when pushed by other electrons, they repel and thus absorb some kinetic energy. And that's where the mystery comes in. "Absorbing" is too abstract. Let's be specific. Do they change their orbits, as in from higher energy to lower, releasing a photon? Or the other way around? But that doesn't explain why the atoms start to move faster, does it? Or is it because the electron somehow pushes the nucelus away when pushed itself? But then, I always thought that the reason an atom is neutral and that electrons are kept in orbit was because the nucleus is positively charged and electrons are negative, thus being "attracted". And the reason why the electrons don't fall into the nucleus, as a result of such attraction, is because of the electron's angular momentum. Well, if that's the case, then pushing it inward should eliminate the angular momentum and result in the electron's crash into the nucleus due to the attractive force..... 4. Kinetic energy on atomic level (heat) can be produced either by eating up mass (governed by e=mc^2), or transferred from kinetic energy of another object (via repulsion of electromagnetic force). Assuming the above premises are true, which option in 4 is it, and specifically HOW does it happen? I would greatly appreciate any detailed explanation or a reference to it to clear up the mess in my head. In advance, thank you! Pavel.
Re: specifically, how do you obtain heat from the electric current?
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