Which metal is the best conductor of electricity and heat

Thermal Conductivity of Metals: Which Metal Is the Best Conductor of Heat?

which metal is the best conductor of electricity and heat

Jan 29, Silver also has the highest thermal conductivity of any element and the highest light reflectance. Although it is the best conductor, copper and gold are used more often in electrical Table of the Conductive Order of Metals.


Conductivity refers to the ability of a material to transmit energy. There are different types of conductivity, including electrical, thermal, and acoustical conductivity. Silver also has the highest thermal conductivity of any element and the highest light reflectance. Although it is the best conductor , copper and gold are used more often in electrical applications because copper is less expensive and gold has a much higher corrosion resistance. Because silver tarnishes, it is less desirable for high frequencies because the exterior surface becomes less conductive. As to why silver is the best conductor, the answer is that its electrons are freer to move than those of the other elements. This has to do with its valence and crystal structure.

Have you ever touched something that became hot enough to burn you only moments after it was cool to the touch? This can happen when you stir a pot of soup on the stove with a metal spoon or roast marshmallows over a fire with a metal rod. Objects made of metal can quickly conduct unwanted heat right up to our hands! So what is conduction, anyway? Conduction is heat moving from one object to another through contact. When heated, molecules in an object begin to shake and move. They also shake and move their neighbors, and the more molecules shaking, the more heat transfer happens.

The structures of pure metals are simple to describe since the atoms that form these metals can be thought of as identical perfect spheres. More specifically the metallic structure consists of 'aligned positive ions' cations in a "sea" of delocalized electrons. This means that the electrons are free to move throughout the structure, and gives rise to properties such as conductivity. A covalent bond is a bond that is formed when two atoms share electrons. Ionic bonding is the complete transfer of valence electron s between a metal and non-metal.

Which Metal is the Best Conductor of Electricity

Why do metals conduct heat and electricity so well? What metals conduct the best?

Copper wire can be wound into a coil. The coil will produce a magnetic field and, being made of copper, won't waste much electrical energy. Copper coils can be found in:. If we could look closely enough, we would see that there are electrons moving about between the copper atoms. Each copper atom has lost one electron and become a positive ion. So copper is a lattice of positve copper ions with free electrons moving between them. The electrons are a bit like the particles of a gas that is free to move within the edges of the wire.

The number of valence electrons in an atom is what makes a material able to conduct electricity. The outer shell of the atom is the valence. In most cases conductors have one or two sometimes three valence electrons. Metals that have ONE valence electron are copper, gold, platinum and silver. Iron has two valence electrons.

Electric conductors possess movable electrically charged particles, referred to as "electrons" in metals. When an electric charge is applied to a metal at certain points, the electrons will move and allow electricity to pass through. Materials with high electron mobility are good conductors and materials with low electron mobility are not good conductors, instead referred to as "insulators. While silver and gold are both effective, they are too expensive for common use. Individual properties make each ideal for specific purposes.

Which Metals Conduct Electricity? (Video Update)

Which Metals Conduct Electricity? Video Update. More simply, it is how easily an electrical current can flow through a metal. While all metals can conduct electricity, certain metals are more commonly used due to being highly conductive. The most common example is Copper.

The cloud of electrons drifts through the wire. The electrons within the cloud are still moving randomly at much higher speeds - rather like a swarm of bees leaving a hive. However, metals are particularly good conductors of heat. In general, they are better than ionic compounds which also have strong bonds. So we need another mechanism to explain their especially good conductivity. It is their free electrons.




  1. Wilmer R. says:

    What Metals Make Good Conductors of Electricity? | Sciencing

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