chemistry

Difference between Conductors and insulators

The difference between conductors and insulators is provided Here. Click here to learn The Differences between insulators and conductors in tabular form also.

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The chemical composition of matter contains layers of electrons; that is to say that the atoms of which all the elements are composed contain a nucleus surrounded by a series of orbits, each of which has a maximum number of electrons.

The last of these orbits, that is, the one with the greatest distance from the nucleus of the atom, can have a different number of electrons: this is what determines the ability of the entire substance to let electricity pass, which is what It is known daily as driving or isolating it.

The fact that the amount of electrons in the outermost layer is high explains that they do not let electrons pass from another substance that seeks to share them, which represents the minimum unit of what is known as energy. When two atoms come into contact with each other, it is this condition that determines whether there will be an exchange of electrons, which is what in the event that there is an electric current produces the passage of energy.

The electrical energy used by this means, that is, the use of the potential difference allowing the current to be established is something that is fundamental for the human being, so much so that the issues related to the generation, distribution and commercialization of this energy have been perfected a lot. for both commercial and residential use.

Most electric current processes use metals, as it is proven that they are the best means for the passage of energy: anyway, hydrogen belongs to the category of nonmetals and is a great conductor of electricity.

However, the success of the electric current system occurs to the extent that it can be regulated, and that current limiting materials can be included. It happens that, for example, the human body uses electricity levels that change according to body function, but it is always lower than the electrical levels at which a large number of machines operate.

In this way, if the body (made up largely of water, a conductive material) comes into contact with this electricity, depending on the power levels, it can go from the perception of a tickle or cramps to severe burns and the potential death. In this sense, it is very common that insulating materials are used in devices that have a very strong electrical charge.

Between the insulating materials and the conductors, a separate category appears which is that of semiconductors. It happens that in fact, insulating materials are not 100% reluctant to the passage of electrons, but they do so with a much lower intensity than that of conductors. Thus, in the cases where the two bands are separated by a very narrow gap that makes the electrons move with enough difficulty, but that pass anyway, being an intermediate group between the conductive materials and the insulators.

See also: What are the Superconducting Materials?

Examples of conductive materials

  • Tungsten
  • Lanthanum
  • Silver
  • Aluminum
  • Beryllium
  • Hydrogen
  • Sodium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Gold
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Rhodium
  • Iridium
  • Graphite

Examples of insulating materials

  • Polyethylene
  • Ceramics
  • Rubbers
  • Cork
  • Quartz
  • Wood
  • Silicate
  • Clay
  • Mylar
  • Slab
  • Plastic
  • Minerals
  • Polystyrene
  • Teflon
  • Glasses

 

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