Skip to main content

What is difference b/w conductors and insulators?

The behavior of an object that has been charged is dependent upon whether the object is made of a conductive or a nonconductive material.

Conductors are materials that permit electrons to flow freely from atom to atom and molecule to molecule. An object made of a conducting material will permit charge to be transferred across the entire surface of the object. If charge is transferred to the object at a given location, that charge is quickly distributed across the entire surface of the object. The distribution of charge is the result of electron movement. Since conductors allow for electrons to be transported from particle to particle, a charged object will always distribute its charge until the overall repulsive forces between excess electrons is minimized. If a charged conductor is touched to another object, the conductor can even transfer its charge to that object. The transfer of charge between objects occurs more readily if the second object is made of a conducting material. Conductors allow for charge transfer through the free movement of electrons.

In contrast to conductors, insulators are materials that impede the free flow of electrons from atom to atom and molecule to molecule. If charge is transferred to an insulator at a given location, the excess charge will remain at the initial location of charging. The particles of the insulator do not permit the free flow of electrons; subsequently charge is seldom distributed evenly across the surface of an insulator.

While insulators are not useful for transferring charge, they do serve a critical role in electrostatic experiments and demonstrations. Conductive objects are often mounted upon insulating objects. This arrangement of a conductor on top of an insulator prevents charge from being transferred from the conductive object to its surroundings. This arrangement also allows for a student (or teacher) to manipulate a conducting object without touching it. The insulator serves as a handle for moving the conductor around on top of a lab table. If charging experiments are performed with aluminum pop cans, then the cans should be mounted on top of Styrofoam cups. The cups serve as insulators, preventing the pop cans from discharging their charge. The cups also serve as handles when it becomes necessary to move the cans around on the table.

Examples of conductors include metals, aqueous solutions of salts (i.e., ionic compounds dissolved in water), graphite, water and the human body. Examples of insulators include plastics, Styrofoam, paper, rubber, glass and dry air. The division of materials into the categories of conductors and insulators is a somewhat artificial division.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog



In  this  configuration  the  input  is  applied  between the  base  and  the  collector and  the  output  is  taken  from  the  collector  and  the  emitter.  Here  the  collector  is common to both the input and the output circuits as shown in Fig.

  Common Collector Transistor Circuit

In  common  collector  configuration  the  input  current  is  the  base current  IB  and  the output current is the emitter current IE. The ratio of change in emitter current to the  change in the base current is called current amplification factor.

It is represented by


A test  circuit  for determining the  static characteristic  of an NPN transistor is shown in Fig. In this circuit the collector is common to both the input and the output circuits.   To   measure   the   base   and   the   emitter   currents,   milli   ammeters   are connected in series with the base and the emitter circuits. Voltmeters are connected   across the input an…

XII - Ch# 12 : Electrostatics :Solved Numericals

Solution Manual : Mathematical methods for physicists 5th edition Arfken and Weber

DJ VU Reader
Book Description Now in its 7th edition, Mathematical Methods for Physicists continues to provide all the mathematical methods that aspiring scientists and engineers are likely to encounter as students and beginning researchers. This bestselling text provides mathematical relations and their proofs essential to the study of physics and related fields. While retaining the key features of the 6th edition, the new edition provides a more careful balance of explanation, theory, and examples. Taking a problem-solving-skills approach to incorporating theorems with applications, the book's improved focus will help students succeed throughout their academic careers and well into their professions. Some notable enhancements include more refined and focused content in important topics, improved organization, updated notations, extensive explanations and intuitive exercise sets, a wider range of problem solutions, improvement in the placement, and a wider ra…