• Question: What factors make one metal better at conducting electricity than another?

    Asked by Zobo64 to Colin, John, Kevin, Shikha, Triona on 17 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: Kevin Motherway

      Kevin Motherway answered on 17 Nov 2014:

      All metals are cystalline and this crystal lattice structure makes loads of electrons free to move about and that essentially what electricity is (electrons in motion) so as a current enters the metal it has many electrons free to “join the conga line” of the current flowing throiugh it. The looser the metal holds it electrons the better it is at conducting current. The metal that holds its electrons the loosest is Francium but due to other reasons the most conductive is silver, followed by copper and then gold. Copper is way cheaper than the other two so thats why we use it, but on some really high end electonics (Dr Dre’s Headphones anyone?) they will use silver or gold.

    • Photo: Shikha Sharma

      Shikha Sharma answered on 18 Nov 2014:

      Hi Zobo64,
      Flow of electricity is characterized by the flow of electrons. In metal the outer electrons of the atoms are loosely held by atom. Hence, these electron are called free electron which can easily move when negative terminal to positive terminal when the metal is connected with electrodes. The conductivity of metal depends on number of free electron available in metal. Metal with more free electrons has higher electrical conductivity than metal with lesser free electrons.