|Topics||Conductive Materials, Current, Insulators, Semiconductors, Voltage|
All conductors have resistance and the amount of resistance varies with the element. But, resistance isn't the only consideration when choosing a conductor as the most highly conductive elements like silver and gold are also more expensive and more brittle than slightly less conductive elements like copper. A balance needs to be struck between the electrical qualities of a material and its cost and durability.
Current is the rate of flow of electrons per unit time and is measured in amperes (A). A coulomb (C) is the quantity of electricity conveyed in one second by a current of one ampere.
Insulators have valence shells that are more than half full of electrons and, as such, are tightly bound to the nucleus and difficult to move from one atom to another.
Semiconductors have valence shells that are exacly half full and can conduct electricity under some conditions but not others. This property makes them useful for the control of electrical current.
Voltage (V) is the electrical potential difference between two points. Electrons will flow as current from areas of high potential (concentration of electrons) to areas of low potential. Voltage and current are directly proportional in that the higher the voltage applied to a conductor the higher the current that will result.