MadSci Network: Physics

Re: What makes copper the best conductor?

Date: Thu Mar 19 11:40:46 1998
Posted By: Gus Calabrese aka puppet boy, Design Engineer
Area of science: Physics
ID: 890238754.Ph

Hello William

Of the metals you tested, copper is the best 
conductor.  This because the electrons in the 
copper are more easily transferred from one 
atom to another.  Electric current is based on 
the flow of electrons through the conductor.

Copper is not the best conductor, however.  
Silver is better and Gold is better.  These are 
expensive metals and are used in special 
applications only.

There is also a group of materials that are 
specially created that are not conductors until 
certain impurities are added.  Then they 
become very good conductors, better than any 
naturally occuring materials.

Also, cooling materials down to near absolute 
zero (Kelvin) make some of them nearly 
perfect conductors.  At such a low temperature 
the atoms no longer vibrate and electrons are 
free to move.

I don't understand your experiment though.  
What did the wax melting prove?  A better 
conductor generates less heat when carrying 
electrical current.


Current Queue | Current Queue for Physics | Physics archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Physics.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-1998. All rights reserved.