Q:

What substances make good conductors of electricity?

A:

Quick Answer

In general, metals make good conductors of electricity. These include copper, gold, silver and aluminum. Copper is a common conductor of electricity used in industrial applications because it is inexpensive to acquire, especially in comparison to gold and silver. Aluminium is not as efficient in conducting electricity as copper is.

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Full Answer

Conductors are so-named because they permit the flow of electricity, or the movement of electrons from one atom to another. While metallic substances make good conductors of electricity, non-metallic substances usually do not. These include air, glass, wood, plastic and rubber. Materials that are not good conductors of electricity are commonly known as insulators. Insulators restrict the flow of electrons from one atom to another. Some of the strongest insulators include glass, pica and quartz. Insulators are used where it is necessary to protect or shield from electricity, such as electrical cords. The covering of the cord is the insulator, which prevents electricity from flowing to the outside of the cord. The inside of the cord contains the conductor, which allows electricity to flow and the appliance to function.The relationship between conductors and insulators can be summarized in terms of their resistance to electrical current. Conductors have low resistance to electrical current. Insulators have high resistance to electrical current.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why are metals good conductors of electricity?

    A:

    Metals are good conductors of electricity, because they have free electrons. These free electrons act as charge carriers in the metallic structure, allowing electric current to flow through the metal.

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  • Q:

    How are conductors and insulators alike?

    A:

    Conductors are materials that allow the flow of electric current, whereas insulators do not. While conductors and insulators are different in that respect, their similarity is in their makeup of atoms. It is these atoms that either have room to float around to facilitate conduction or have little freedom to move around; this lack of freedom makes the material they form an insulator.

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  • Q:

    What are examples of conductors?

    A:

    Examples of conductors include the human body, metals, aqueous solutions of salt, graphite, copper, silver and gold. Conductors are materials that can transfer heat and transmit electricity. Conductors have a high density, allowing particles to flow freely and collide.

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  • Q:

    What are non-conductors of electricity?

    A:

    Non-conductors of electricity are also known as insulators. Insulators do not allow a significant amount of electrical current to flow through. Some examples of insulators are glass, rubber and plastic.

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