Electricity

Conductors, Semiconductors, and Insulators

Conductor

- Definition: A material or an object that conducts heat, electricity, light, or sound.


- Comparing and Contrasting: Conductors have very low resistance, Semiconductor has moderate resistance, and Insulators have a very high resistance.


- Real World Example: Copper is an conductor. When people are wiring a house they use copper wire because it lets electricity through easier.

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Semiconductor

- Definition: A material that is neither a good conductor of electricity nor a good insulator, but has properties of electrical conductivity somewhere between the two.


- Comparing and Contrasting: In a conductor there is large number of electrons available for conduction, in a insulator there is small number of electrons available for conduction, in a semiconductor there is moderate number of electrons available for conduction.


- Real World Example: Silicon is a semiconductor. Silicon is in a lot electrical devices.

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Insulator

- Definition: A material or an object that does not easily allow heat, electricity, light, or sound to pass through it.


- Comparing and Contrasting: In a conductor, both the effect of resistance and temperature are increased, in an insulator, effect of resistance is decreased and effect of temperature is increased, in a semiconductor, effect of resistance is decreased and effect of temperature is increased.


- Real World Example: Rubber is an insulator. When wiring a house they wrap the wire in rubber so they electricity can't get through.

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