Physics

Difference between conductor and insulator

The conductor and the insulator are the types of material. One of the main differences between conductor and insulator is that the conductor allows energy (i.e. current or heat) to pass through it, whereas the insulator does not allow energy to pass through it. The conductors are materials that allow the passage of electrical current, the insulators prevent the passage of electricity. The main difference between conductor and insulator is that conductor conducts heat and electricity very well, while insulator does not conduct heat or electricity.

Key differences

  • The material that allows a smooth flow of electrons jumping from one atom to another is commonly known as a conductor; On the other hand, material that would not allow the smooth flow of electrons jumping from one atom to another is known as an insulator.
  • Conductor is the type of material that allows electrical current or heat to pass through it, while insulator does not allow electrical current or heat to pass through.
  • The best conductor is good at conducting electricity and heat, while insulator is considered a poor conductor of heat and electricity.
  • The electric field exists only on the surface of the conductor, and remains zero within the conductor, while it does not exist in an insulator.
  • The conductor consists of free electrons, while the insulator does not consist of free electrons.
  • The conductor, when placed in a magnetic field, does not store energy, while the insulator stores energy in a magnetic field.
  • In a conductor, the atoms do not have a strong grip on their electrons; on the contrary, in an insulator, the atoms consist of a strong grip on their electrons.
  • The thermal conductivity of the conductor is high, while the thermal conductivity of the insulator is low.
  • On the surface of the conductor, the electric field exists but remains zero inside the conductor; on the other hand, the electric field does not exist in the insulator.
  • Thermal conductivity is the property of the material that allows heat to pass through it without any obstruction.
  • In a conductor, the magnetic field is used to store energy; on the contrary, the magnetic field is not present in the insulator and does not store energy.
  • In a conductor, the potential remains the same at all points; on the other hand, in an insulator, the potential remains zero at all points.
  • The covalent bond between the atoms of a conductor is very weak, whereas in an insulator it is very strong.
  • The thermal conductivity of the conductor is high; on the other hand, the thermal conductivity of the insulator is low.
  • The covalent bond of the conductor is weak, that appears between the atoms; on the other hand, between the atoms of the insulator, the covalent bond is always strong.
  • The covalent bond is the chemical bond between the atoms that involves the exchange of electrons.
  • The conductor consists of a minimal amount of resistance; on the other hand, the resistance of the insulation is high.
  • In the conductor the positive temperature of the coefficient of resistance is present; on the contrary, in the insulator the negative temperature coefficient of resistance is present.
  • In the conductor, electrons move freely from atom to atom when a potential difference is applied across it, whereas, in an insulator, electrons are fixed due to atomic-level forces.
  • The resistivity present in the conductor varies from high to low, while the resistivity of the insulator is constantly high.
  • The conduction band of the conductor is usually filled with electrons; on the other hand, the conduction band of the insulator remains empty.
  • In the conductor, the valence bond remains empty, while in the insulator, the valence bond is usually filled with electrons.

Difference between conductor and insulator – Comparative chart

conductorinsulator
DefinitionThe material that allows electrical current or heat to pass through is known as a conductor.The substance that does not allow electrical current or heat to pass through is known as an insulator.
Considered asGood for conducting electricity and heat.Bad conductor of heat and electricity.
PotentialThe potential at all points remains the sameThe potential at all points is still zero
Free electron carriersMore free carriers are present in them, like electrons.It does not contain many free electron carriers.
Magnetic fieldThe magnetic field usually stores energy.The magnetic field does not store energy
Electron flowAllow the easy flow of electrons from one atom to another atomIt would not allow the easy flow of electrons from one atom to another atom.
Covalent bondThe covalent bond present between the atoms is weak.The covalent bond present between the atoms is strong
Electron grabAtoms do not have a strong grip on their electrons.The atoms have bonded tightly to each other and cannot transfer electrical energy well.
ResistanceContains very little resistanceContains high resistance
ConductivityConsists of high conductivityConsists of low conductivity
Temperature coefficientThe positive temperature of the coefficient of resistance is present.
The negative temperature of the coefficient of resistance is present.
electric fieldPresent on the surface of the conductor but remains zero within the conductorNot present in insulation
ResistivityResistivity varies from high to low.Resistivity is high
ExamplesAluminum, irons, silver, copper, etc.Paper, rubber, wood, etc.
Conduction bandThe conduction band is full of electrons.The conduction band remains empty
ApplicationsWidely used for the manufacture of electrical conductors and cables.It is used in electrical cables as insulation, to support electrical equipment, etc.
Valencia bandThe valence bond remains emptyThe valence bond is full of electrons.
Forbidden spaceThere are currently no forbidden spacesThere is a present, a great forbidden hole

Conductor vs. Insulator – Overview

The conductor is considered good at conducting electricity and heat, while the insulator is considered a poor conductor of heat and electricity. The conductor that is better at conducting heat and electricity has more free carriers present in them, such as electrons, while the insulator that is better at not conducting electricity does not contain many free electron carriers because the electrons are tightly bound inside. of atoms. The conductor is usually of the materials that allow an easy flow of electrons from one atom to another atom; on the other hand, the insulator is the material that will not allow the easy flow of electrons from one atom to another.

The atoms that are present in a conductor cannot hold tightly to its electrons; on the contrary, the atoms that are present in the insulator are strongly attached to each other and cannot transfer electrical energy well. Materials that are considered good conductors of electricity tend to be highly conductive; On the other hand, good insulating materials usually consist of low conductivity. The electric field is present on the surface of the conductor but remains zero inside the conductor; on the other hand, the electric field is not present in the insulator. In the conductor, the magnetic field usually stores energy; on the contrary, the magnetic field in the insulator does not store energy.

The potential of the conductor at all points remains the same; on the other hand, the potential of the insulator at all points remains zero. The covalent bond present between the conductor atoms is weak; on the other hand, the covalent bond is strong between the atoms of the insulator. The conductivity of the conductor is very high; on the contrary, the insulator has a very low conductivity.

The conductor contains very low resistance; on the other hand, the resistance of the insulation is high; that is why it does not allow the movement of electrical charges. The positive temperature of the coefficient of resistance is present in the conductor; on the contrary, the negative temperature coefficient of resistance is present in the insulation. The resistivity of the conductor varies from high to low depending on the presence of electricity, while the resistivity of the insulator is always high.

The conduction band of the conductor is filled with electrons; on the other hand, the conduction band of the insulator remains empty. The valence bond of the conductor remains empty, while the valence bond of the insulator is filled with electrons. Currently there is no prohibited space in the conductors; on the other hand, there is a largely forbidden space in an insulator.

Several examples of the conductor are aluminum, iron, silver, copper, etc., while some examples of the insulator are paper, rubber, wood, etc. The conductor is widely used to manufacture electrical cables and conductors; On the other hand, insulation is used in electrical cables as insulation, to support electrical equipment, etc.

What is a conductor?

The term conductor is defined as the material that consists of many free electrons and allows the conduction of heat and electricity. In other words, the conductor is the substance that allows electrons to move freely from atom to atom in one or more directions. If we send an electron to a conductor that is electrically charged, the electron will collide with a free electron that is already present in the conductor and eventually activate it until that electron collides with other free electrons in the conductor.

They are the materials that allow the free movement of electrons , which is why they are used to create electrical circuits.

According to this, it can be said that all the materials or elements that allow current or moving electric charges to flow through them are known as conductors.

For electrons to move freely through conductive materials, they must be connected to a voltage source .

Conductors include metals, salt solutions, and acids.

Some of the metals most used as conductors are copper, gold, silver, aluminum and iron. Among these, copper is the most common because it is relatively inexpensive and good enough to do its job, just like aluminum.

Gold and silver could be considered as the best conductive metals; however, its use is not very common due to its high cost.

The conductor is defined as the material that allows electric current or heat to pass through it. The electrons in a conductor moved freely from atom to atom when the potential difference is applied across them. The conductivity of the conductor depends on the number of free electrons in the outermost shell of the orbit. The conductivity of the material is directly proportional to the number of free electrons.

The conductivity of the material is directly proportional to the number of free electrons. The valence band and the conductance band of a conductor overlap each other and therefore there is no forbidden energy gap. The resistance of the conductor is very low because charges move freely from one place to another when voltage is applied across them. Copper, aluminum, silver, mercury, etc. are some of the driver’s examples

After that, a chain of reaction begins to create an electrical charge on the material. Conductors can easily allow electricity to pass through them because their atomic structure allows free electrons to freely roam the conductor. Several examples of the conductor are aluminum, iron, silver, copper, etc.

What is an insulator?

The insulator is a material that does not have free electrons and does not conduct electricity through them. In other words, the insulator is a substance that strongly retains electrons that restrict the movement of electrons from one atom to another atom and consequently do not allow electric charges to pass from them. The insulator is of low conductivity and the current flow is almost negligible. So, insulators are mainly used to protect us from electric shock.

Electrical cables are covered with insulators because sometimes the voltage is high enough in the cables to cause the flow of electrical charges through materials that are not even considered good conductors of electricity. The insulation coating is made with rubber to save the body from electric shock because the human body is also considered as good conductors of electricity. Some examples of insulation are paper, rubber, wood, etc.

They are materials that do not allow electrons to circulate freely , thus making the flow of electric current impossible.

Insulators are used to cover an electrically conductive element, so it can resist the passage of current through the element it houses and keep it moving.

In addition, insulators protect these electrical currents to avoid contact with other conductive parts, as well as to protect people from direct contact with electrical voltages.

Some insulating materials where atoms do not give or receive electrons are glass, ceramics, plastic, mica, rubber, paper, wood, among others.

Any of these materials and others with similar characteristics offer total resistance to the passage of electric current. This is because any electron will be detected by the atoms and their circulation will be automatically impeded.

There are also natural insulators , such as dry air or mineral oil, and artificial insulators , such as Bakelite, polyvinyl chloride or polyester.

Materials that do not allow electricity, current or heat to pass through it, this type of material is called insulator. The covalent bond between the atoms of an insulator is very strong. Therefore, electrons or charges do not move freely. The resistivity of the insulator is very high.

The forbidden gap between the valence band and the conduction band of an insulator is very large, and therefore electrons require great energy to pass from the valence band to the conduction band.

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