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Author Topic: All metals conduct electricity?  (Read 2037 times)

Offline Seany

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All metals conduct electricity?
« on: 03/09/2007 13:34:44 »
Is this true?? Though some are more conductive that others?


 

lyner

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All metals conduct electricity?
« Reply #1 on: 03/09/2007 14:06:16 »
If you look at the periodic table of elements, most of them are metals.
How do they stay solid?
The outer electrons of each atom do not associate with just one atom, but are shared by many of the neighboring atoms. Each electron attracts a whole lot of the surrounding atoms to it - it's called metallic bonding.  It allows metals to be stretched etc. without breaking as the electrons never let go!  They are always attracting whatever atoms they are near. These electrons can move from place to place to place fairly easily - they need very little energy to do this. A low electric field - say 0.1V across a 100metre length of wire, can make millions and millions of them flow. The wire has a low resistance - we say.
The electrons in some metals take more energy than in others to move - this means the resistances are different.
This conductivity is a common property, along with a lot of other properties, of so many elements that they are lumped together. They call them all 'metals'.

At School, you learn about ionic and covalent bonding but metallic bonding is often ignored. Strange, as it's so common.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

All metals conduct electricity?
« Reply #1 on: 03/09/2007 14:06:16 »

 

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