Electronic – How does electricity produce heat, and where do the electrons go


When electrons flow through a conductor it is subject to resistive loss, which has the unfortunate capability of producing heat from this current, leaving us with less current in the other end of the conductor opposite to the power source.

When current is lost due to heat, what happens to the electron? I mean, what is left of it? I guess heat is caused by friction, but that doesn't mean that the electron is not able to travel all the way through to the load of the conductor, or what?

Best Answer

The electrons don't "go" anywhere, and current (the net flow of electrons) is not "lost" to heat. But the electrons gain energy through the application of an electric field, and they can lose that energy through inelastic interactions with the other particles (nuclei) in the conductor. The energy lost is in the form of randomized vibratory motion, which is just another way of saying "heat".

If you want a more detailed answer, you should ask on the Physics SE.