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by disinfoniacs #69 & #1

conductors and insulators



in depth

Conductors are essential components in electrical circuits, as they allow the flow of electrical current without much resistance. Electrical current flows through conductors by the movement of free electrons. Metals like copper, aluminum, and silver are the most commonly used conductors, as they have a high number of free electrons that can be easily moved by an electric field.

It's important to note that different materials have different levels of conductivity, meaning some materials are better conductors than others. Silver is the best conductor of electricity among metals, with copper being the second-best (gold is number three). While aluminum is also a good conductor, it's not as efficient as copper, and therefore, more of it needs to be used to carry the same amount of electrical current.


Insulators play a crucial role in the safe operation of electrical systems. These materials are essential in controlling the flow of electricity by inhibiting the movement of electrons. This resistance to electrical current is important in preventing dangerous electrical shocks and equipment damage.

Insulators come in many forms, with some of the most common being glass and plastic. Glass is often used for insulating high-voltage wires and equipment because of its excellent insulating properties and high resistance to electrical current. Plastics are also used as insulators in a wide range of applications because they are lightweight, durable, and cost-effective.

Without insulators, electrical systems would be vulnerable to short circuits and other dangerous malfunctions. The plastic covering on electrical wires and cables is a prime example of how insulators are used to prevent accidental contact with electrical charge. This protective coating helps to ensure that electricity is transmitted safely from one place to another, without causing harm to people or equipment.

In addition to protecting against electrical shock, insulators also have important applications in electronic circuitry. They can be used to create capacitors, which store electrical energy, or inductors, which store magnetic energy. These components are essential in many electronic devices, including radios, televisions, and computers.

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