By James Clerk Maxwell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2010
Online Publication Date:July 2011
Original Publication Year:1873
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511709333.022
Subjects: Electromagnetics , General and Classical Physics
On Systems of Linear Conductors
273.] Any conductor may be treated as a linear conductor if it is arranged so that the current must always pass in the same manner between two portions of its surface which are called its electrodes. For instance, a mass of metal of any form the surface of which is entirely covered with insulating material except at two places, at which the exposed surface of the conductor is in metallic contact with electrodes formed of a perfectly conducting material, may be treated as a linear conductor. For if the current be made to enter at one of these electrodes and escape at the other the lines of flow will be determinate, and the relation between electromotive force, current and resistance will be expressed by Ohm's Law, for the current in every part of the mass will be a linear function of E. But if there be more possible electrodes than two, the conductor may have more than one independent current through it, and these may not be conjugate to each other. See Art. 282.
274.] Let E be the electromotive force in a linear conductor from the electrode A1 to the electrode A2.