MadSci Network: Engineering

Subject: speed of electricity

Date: Thu Jul 30 20:06:36 1998
Posted by joe giacoppi
Grade level: undergrad
School: westark college
City: fort smith State/Province: ar
Country: usa
Area of science: Engineering
ID: 901847196.Eg

at what speed does electricity travel(in a normal environment on 
Earth)? I have asked several "upstanding" physics teachers, and can't 
get a straight answer. 

I have heard everything from nearly the speed of light to several 
hundred miles per hour. I understand how the potential in the wire 
can allow the electricity to get to the other end almost instantly, 
but how fast is it really going?

Also, I witnessed a power surge traveling down a utility line, and it 
was moving at about thirty miles an hour as a glowing ball. Please 
explain this phenomenon. I have some friends that are linemen, and 
they say that this is a regular occurrence. 

Thank you for taking a load off of my mind........
Joe Giacoppi

Re: speed of electricity

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