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Electrical conductor



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Copper wire as electrical conductor

A conductor is a material which allows electricity, heat or sound to flow through it.

An electrical conductor conducts electricity. The ability to conduct electricity is called electrical conductivity. A good electrical conductor has high conductivity and low resistivity. Electrical resistivity is the reciprocal/opposite of conductivity.

Prominent electrical conductors include:

  • Copper
  • Aluminum
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Water
  • Human skin

Metals, like iron and copper, are used to make wires to carry electric current. Plasma is an excellent conductor of electricity and is used for many purposes but metals are more used.

Impure water can also conduct electricity. Living tissues, as in the human body, are wet and therefore conductors of electricity.

Some materials are semiconductors. This means that electricity can flow through them to a certain temperature and below that semiconductors [1]do not pass electricity.

Some materials are resistors. This means electricity does not easily flow through them.

A material that stops electric current is called an insulator (electricity). Wires are covered with insulators like plastic to stop the electricity from leaving the wire.

Some materials when very cold, are superconductors. They offer no resistance at all to the flow of electricity.

Most conductor's resistance becomes higher at higher temperatures.

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