The Electric Field Outside a Stationary Resistive Wire Carrying a Constant Current

, , and . Foundations of Physics 29 (5): 729--753 (May 1, 1999)


We present the opinion of some authors who believe there is no force between a stationary charge and a stationary resistive wire carrying a constant current. We show that this force is different from zero and present its main components: the force due to the charges induced in the wire by the test charge and a force proportional to the current in the resistive wire. We also discuss briefly a component of the force proportional to the square of the current which should exist according to some models and another component due to the acceleration of the conduction electrons in a curved wire carrying a dc current (centripetal acceleration). Finally, we analyze experiments showing the existence of the electric field proportional to the current in resistive wires.

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