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Wiedemann-Franz Law

Wiedemann-Franz Law

The transport of heat and electricity is dominated by free electrons in most metals and their alloys.

As the temperature and average velocity of free electrons increases, the thermal conductivity also increases whilst the electrical conduction decreases.

The ratio of the thermal to electrical conductivity depends on the square of the average velocity, thus, with a full Quantum mechanical treatment we find that for normal state metals, reduced thermal conductivity pays a price in terms of increased electrical resistance.

In cryogenic systems it is generally better to have high impedance devices in circuits involving resistance wiring to avoid significant voltage drops across the wiring linking room temperature to the cold circuits.

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