Any object can be broadly classified in either of the following two categories on the basis of their electrical properties:
(i) Conductors: The materials or substances which allow electricity to flow through them are called Conductors. Conductors are able to conduct electricity because they allow electrons to flow inside them very easily.
The general property of conductor is to allow the transition of heat or light from one source to another. Metals, humans, earth and animal bodies fall in the category of conductors. This category generally comprises of metals but may sometimes contain non-metals too.
Example: Carbon in the form of graphite. Conductors have free electrons on its surface which allows current to pass through, that’s why conductors are able to conduct electricity.
APPLICATIONS OF CONDUCTORS
Fig: Use of conductors in lightning a bulb
Conductors are quite useful in many ways and used in many real life applications like:
(ii) Insulators: The materials or substances which resist or don’t allow the current to flow through them are called Insulators. Insulators are mostly solid in nature and are used in a variety of systems. Insulators don’t allow the flow of heat as well.
The property which makes insulators different from conductors is its resistivity. Wood, cloth, glass, mica, and quartz are some good examples of insulators. Insulators are also called Protectors as they give protection against heat, sound and of course passage of electricity.
Insulators don’t have any electrons in its and that’s why insulators don’t conduct electricity.
APPLICATIONS OF INSULATORS
Fig: An insulator is used to protect wire opening
Being resistive to flow of electron, insulators are used worldwide in a number of ways.
Some are as follows
|1. What is the difference between conductors and insulators?|
|2. Why are metals good conductors of electricity?|
|3. How does the conductivity of a material affect its use as a conductor or insulator?|
|4. What factors determine the conductivity of a material?|
|5. Can insulators conduct electricity under certain conditions?|