It Can't Run Too Far......

a: Electron in an insulator ~
b: a guard dog tied to a tree

What: "Life is much more restrictive for an electron in an insulator. By definition, charges in an insulator are not free to move. This is not the same thing as saying they can't move. An electron in an insulator is like a guard dog tied to a tree - free to move around, but within limits. Placing the electrons of an insulator in the presence of an electric field is like placing a tied dog in the presence of a mailman. The electrons will strain against the field as far as they can in much the same way that our hypothetical dog will strain against its leash as far as it can. Electrons on the atomic scale are more cloudlike than doglike, however. The electron is really spread out over the whole volume of an atom and isn't concentrated in any one location. A good atomic dog wouldn't be named Spot, I suppose"

Writer: Glenn Elert
Date: Aug 1 2013 3:09 PM

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