Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 23 - Reading Check Questions (Comprehension): 19

Answer

The error is that the electrons in a wire travel at "only" about $\frac{1}{200}$ the speed of light, or several million km/hour. Their "drift velocity" is even slower than that.

Work Step by Step

It is the electric current that is established at nearly the speed of light, but the electrons themselves do not travel anywhere near that fast. This is discussed on page 438.
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