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Conductors and Insulators

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Summary

The electrical behavior of matter enables us to classify it into two categories:

  • Conductors
  • Insulators

All matter is made up of electric charges. A conductor contains large numbers of electric charges that are free to move around (in a metal, these are electrons).  A large current can pass through them. An insulator contains large numbers of electric charges, but they are not free to move around, and only  a small current can pass through them.

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Learning goals

  • To introduce the  notions of conductors, insulators and electrical resistance.
  • To approach the risk of electrocution.

Keywords

Learn more

It is sometimes preferable to begin with the notion of resistance, because it better explains the great diversity of materials that are never either perfect conductors or perfect insulators. The…

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