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Solutions and Explanations for HW Chapter 25 BB

Prepared by Prof Omar Chmaissem

1. A 500-W device is connected to a 120-V ac power source. What peak current flows through this
a. 120 A
b. 170 A
c. 150 A
d. 5.9 A
e. 4.2 A
Remember that a wall ac power outlet provides you with a special voltage average that we call
root mean square voltage or Vrms.
The power equation P = VI is valid here as it was with DC currents and voltages and we can
write P = VrmsIrms.
and I rms which means that the power equation can now
be written as: P Vrms I rms V I
2 2 2

Now remember that Vrms

Now combine this last equation with Ohms Law V = RI and you would get:

1 V2
or P RI I RI 2
R 2 R

One last thing to make sure we know and remember for ac circuits, Ohms law can be written as
Vrms RI rms which can also be written as R V RI
Now that we reviewed these important equations, all you have to do is to pick correctly the
appropriate equation to use.
We may use this equation for example: Irms = P/Vrms = 500 /120 = 4.17 A (Here A is the
current unit in Ampere)
So, Ipeak =
Irms = 5.9 A
One last thing to note here is that the power rating of 500 W is only valid in the US or any 120
V ac power supply. If you were to travel to Europe where the Vrms is 240 V (twice as much)
then using Ohms Law you would be getting twice the rms current as well (the resistance of
your device doesnt change). This means that the power increases by a factor of 4. Weve
solved one similar problem in class (please review the slides if unsure).

2. A 1500-W heater is connected to a 120-V line for 2.0 hours. How much heat energy is
a. 1.5 KJ
b. 18 MJ
c. 3.0 KJ
d. 0.18 MJ
e. 11 MJ
Here, we need to examine the relation between power, energy and time. Remember that the
instantaneous P
is always valid and its very useful when we need information about
signals that change all the time. Using heaters or resistors that draw constant average currents
means that we can rely on long time averages. The average power can be written as P
In this problem the power P and the time t are both known so we can calculate the energy U
dissipated by the system (or produced). Remember that time has to be converted to seconds (2
hours x 3600 s/hour = 7200 s).

U =P t = 1500 x 7200 =1.08 x 107 J ~ 11 MJ.

Variations of the problem:
What happens if we take this heater to Europe? What will be the dissipated energy in France?
What should be the power rating for this heater in the UK? Is it also 1500 W? or something
different? (see Question 1 for clues).
3. A silver wire has a cross sectional area A = 2mm2. A total of 9.4 1018 electrons pass through
the wire in a time t = 3s. Silver has nq = 5.8 1028 electrons/m3. What is the drift velocity of
these electrons?
a. 9.1 x 10-5 m/s
b. 1.1 10-5 m/s
c. 2.7 10-5 m/s
d. 5.2 10-5 m/s
e. 7.4 10-5 m/s
This is a straightforward problem. We know that the current can be written as
dq q

neAv D where A is the wire cross section (should be converted to m2), n is

dt t
the number density of the charge carrier or n = N/Volume (N being the total number of the
charge carriers in a volume V that is delimited by the time used for counting), and v D is the
collective drift velocity of the moving electrons (charge carriers).

Examining the equation, we realize that we can solve for the current using q/ t. The
total charge q is simply the number of the electrons x the charge that each electron
carrier (or 1.602 x 10-19 C) (Remember that |q|=|Ne| from chapter 21, here q is the same as
Thus the current can be calculated as: I= q/ t = (Ne)/ t = (9.4 x 1018 x 1.602 x 10-19) / 3
= 0.502 A.
Lets not forget what were set to find, the drift velocity (always double check if theres any
more steps to do).
VD = I/(neA) = 0.502 / (5.8x1028 x 1.602x10-19 x 2x10-6) = 2.7 x 10-5 m/s
Notice that in this problem we didnt care much about the negative sign of the electron charges
since were only going after the magnitude of the current. In any case, if you were to add the
negative signs in the two equations we used they will cancel out at some point.
4. If a current of 2.4 A is flowing in a wire of diameter 2.0 mm, what is the average current
a. 3.6 105 A/m2
b. 5.2 10-6 A/m2
c. 7.6 105 A/m2
d. 21 10-6 A/m2
e. 1.9 105 A/m2
This is obviously assuming that the current of 2.4 A is uniform and constant. All we have to do
is divide the current by the wires cross section to get the current density. J = I/A
Average current density J= I/A = J


7.64 10 5 A/m 2
A d

Variation of the problem:

It would be hard to vary this problem if the current remains uniform. We can easily vary it if
not uniform as in the next problem.
5. If the current density in a wire is given by j = kr, 0 < r < R, where R is the radius of the wire, the
current in the wire is
a. kR2
b. 2kR3/3
c. kR3/3
d. kR2/2
e. 3kR3/2

We solved this problem on the chalkboard in class. I am tempted not to repeat it but will do for
the completeness of this manual. Please make sure you know how to do similar problems but
with different current density functions.
Here the current density changes depending on location inside the wire. K is a constant so
theres no need to worry about it. The variable r is the distance inside the cylindrical shaped
wire with 0 being on the axis of the wire and increasing as we move out towards the surface of
the wire which is a distance R away from the axis (R is actually the radius of the wire).
Remembering that for non-uniform current densities J, the current can be calculated by
integrating: I =
As I explained in class, when we have two variables (or more) to deal with, we have to convert
everything into only one variable to integrate. This means that we need to find a relationship
between my variables. In this case, its obvious that the cross section of the wire A r 2
provides us with such a relationship. Take the derivative of A with respect to t you would then
Therefore, I =

Variations of the problem:

As mentioned above, try different functions. Perhaps J = 2r2 or J = ab/r (where a and b are
constants for example) and so on.
6. When a current I1 = 1.3 A passes through a wire of cross-sectional area A1 = 5 mm2 the drift
velocity of the charge carriers is v1 = 2.7 10-5 m/s. What is the drift velocity of the charges
when a current I2 = 0.5 A passes through a wire, made of the same material of cross-sectional
area A2 = 3 mm2?
a. 1.7 x 10-5 m/s
b. 3.2 10-5 m/s
c. 6.4 10-5 m/s
d. 2.1 10-5 m/s
e. 8.4 10-5 m/s
This is another typical problem giving you two (2) situations to use. Its obvious that some
variables may not need to be known to solve such a problem. Taking a ratio or something
similar could help a lot. Here: I neAv D . Lets write the same equation twice with labels:
I1 neA1 v D 1 and I 2 neA 2 v D 2

Notice that we did not need to label (n) and (e) because they are constant (same number
density of charge carriers since the same material was used and the electron charge e never
changes). Divide the second equation by the first, you would be able to drop (ne) and have the
following ratio:
I 2 A 2 v D 2
0.5 5 10

2.7 10 5 1.73 10 5 m/s

or v D 2 2 1 v D 1

I1 A 2
I1 A1 v D 1
1.3 3 10

7. The diameter of no. 12 copper wire is 0.081 in. The maximum safe current it can carry (in order
to prevent fire danger in building construction) is 20 A. At this current, what is the drift velocity
of the electrons? (The number of electron carriers in one cubic centimeter of copper is 8.5
a. 0.44 m/s
b. 0.44 cm/s
c. 0.44 mm/s
d. 0.044 mm/s
e. 4.4 m/s
This is another problem using the same equation I neAv D . Everything is pretty much known
except for the drift velocity. We just need to convert everything to proper units. Note that n is
given in the problem as 8.5 x 1022 electrons per cubic centimeter so we need to figure it out per
6 cm
cubic meter. This would be n 8.5 10 22

8.5 10 28
The cross section A can be easily calculated using A 5.153 x 10-3 in2 = 5.153 x10-3 x
(0.0254) m = 3.32x10 m (notice that we converted here from square inches to square meters
of course we couldve also converted before plugging and solving for A).
Finally, rearrange the equation and solve for the drift velocity:

4.4295 10 -4 m/s 0.44 mm/s

neA 8.5 10 1.602 10
3.32 10

8. A 4000- resistor is connected across 220 V. What current will flow?

a. 0.055 A
b. 18 A
c. 550 A
d. 1.8 A
e. 5.5 A

Couldnt be any simpler. Using Ohms Law, we get the current straightforward:
I = V/R = 220/4000 = 0.055 A

9. An electric device delivers a current of 6.0 A for 10 seconds. How many electrons flow through
this device?
a. 2.0
b. 0.20
c. 20
d. 3.7 x 1020
e. 37 x 1020
dq q

dt t
We have the current and the time so we can determine the charge flowing through any point
in the device. Once we determine the charge we can quantify the number of the carriers using
q = Ne.

Weve already determined these equations in question #2 above: I

q I t 6 10 60 C (Huge charge)
q q
Now lets find N: N = q/e N

3.745 10 20 electrons
e 1.602 10 19
Notice the large number of the electrons. This is very typical in such currents. Imagine these
jammed together within a very narrow pipe or tunnel (wire) and try to think how they will
shove and push each other as they try to move forward. This is the origin of energy dissipation
(loss) and resistivity. This is also the reason the electrons only travel at very low speeds
(mm/s) in the wires.
10. What length of copper wire (resistivity 1.68 10-8 m) of diameter 0.15 mm is needed for a
total resistance of 15 ?
a. 16 mm
b. 16 cm
c. 160 m
d. 1.6 m
e. 16 m
This is another simple one step problem. We know that R = l /A and we have everything
except the length of the wire (l) which is what were looking for.

R = l /A , A = d2/4 = 1.77x10-8 m2
Thus, l = RA/ = 15.8 m
11. The resistivity of the material of a wire is 1.7610-8 m. If the diameter of the wire is 210-3 m
and its length is 2 m, what is its resistance?
a. 11.2
b. 0.0112
c. 1.12
d. 0.112
e. 112
Straightforward application of the equation listed in the previous problem.
R = l /A = 0.0112
Variation of the problem:
What happens now if we stretch the wire to say 4 times its original length? What will be the new
resistance? What happens if we stretched it n times? Can you write an expression relating the
new resistance to the original resistance? Weve done this in class and wrote the equation on
the chalkboard.

12. A Nichrome wire is used as a heating element in a toaster. From the moment the toaster is first
turned on to the moment the wire reaches it maximum temperature, the current in the wire drops
by 20% from its initial value. What is the temperature change in the wire? The temperature
coefficient for Nichrome is = 0.0004 (C)-1
a. 200C
b. 300C
c. 625oC
d. 100C
e. 400C
Now were dealing with temperature. Since the current is dropping then we should expect that
the resistance of the element is changing. We know it does and we can calculate the
temperature dependent resistance values using the equation Rfinal = Ro [1 + T]. Rearrange to
R final


solve for T= [Rfinal/Ro]-1 T o

Iinitial = Io and Ifinal = 80% of Io or Ifinal = 0.8Io

Lets first make sure that we understand that the voltage is constant. Most likely this is a wall
power outlet.
We dont know the original or final resistance values! However, based on the fact that the
voltage is constant we can use Ohms Law twice (once when cold and once when the heater is
hot). V = RoIo and the same V = RfinalIfinal
None of these variables is known but we have some significant information. RoIo = RfinalIfinal
Rearrange to find final : we get final ol ol 1.25
I final 0.8I o

R final


Plug in the T o
T 1.25 1


equation and solve.

625 o C

Notice that we didnt convert the temperature to Kelvin for 2 reasons: 1- the two scales Celsius
and Kelvin are linearly coupled and 1 K = 1 oC. 2- For this reason, the temperature coefficient
of resistivity is given in (C)-1. This is pretty much the only equation I wouldnt convert the
temperature unit to Kelvin (if I wish). If you do, you will get an equivalent result but in Kelvin.
If temperatures were listed in Fahrenheit then YOU HAVE TO convert to Celsius or Kelvin.
13. The temperature coefficient of resistivity for copper is 0.0068C-1. If a copper wire has a
resistance of 104 at 20C, what is its resistance 80C?
a. 71
b. 192
c. 146
d. 161
e. 42
This is simpler than the previous problems since we already know a lot. Use the same equation
Rfinal = Ro [1 + T] and solve for Rfinal (= R80K).
R80K = R20K [1+ (80 - 20)] = 146.432