Conductor and Insulators class10 |


The substances through which electric charge can flow easily are called conductors. They contain a large number of free electrons which make them good conductors of electricity. Metal, human and animal bodies, graphite, acids, alkalies, etc. are conductors.

Conductors are able to accommodate an electron flow through them because the electrons in the atoms are not tightly bound to their atoms. When an electron leaves its atom, it leaves behind the hole, which because of the absence of the electron, is positively charged since the atom started out neutral. This hole can be modeled as a positive charge. As electrons move towards one end of the conductor, they will leave holes at the opposite end, thus creating a "flow" of holes in the direction opposite the electron flow.

Silver is the best conductor of electricity. However, it is costly and so, we don’t use silver in industries and transmission of electricity So Copper, Brass, Steel, Gold, and Aluminium are good conductors of electricity. We use them mostly in electric circuits and systems in the form of wires.
Mercury is an excellent liquid conductor that finds use in many instruments


Insulators are the materials or substances which resist or don’t allow the current to flow through them.
The electrons in insulators are tightly bound to their atoms, so they cannot flow. Wood, cloth, glass, mica, and quartz are some good examples of insulators. Insulators are also protectors as they give protection against heat, sound and of course passage of electricity. Insulators don’t have any free electrons and it is the main reason why they don’t conduct electricity.Glass is the best insulator as it has the highest resistivity.Rubber is a common component in making tyre, fire-resistant clothes and slippers. This is because it is a very good insulator.Plastic is a good insulator and it finds its use in making a number of things.

Difference between conductor and insulator

A mixed question of S.Chand and NCERT of this topic:

Q1.What is meant by conductors and insulators? Give two examples of conductors and two insulators.

Ans- Those substances through which electricity can flow are called conductors. Ex. Silver, Copper
Those substances through which electricity can not flow is called an insulator. Ex. Mica, Paper

Q2.Which of the following are conductors and which are insulators? Sulfur, Silver, Copper, Cotton, Aluminium, Air, Nichrome, Paper, Porcelain, Mercury, Mica, Bakelite, Polythene, Manganin.

Ans- Conductor-Silver, Copper, Aluminium, nichrome,manganine , Mercury(conductor in liquid form)

Insulator- Paper, mica,Bakelite(used in insulation) ,Polythene,Sulpher (non metal),Cotton,Porcelain ,Air

"Test your knowledge by giving online Exam(quiz)"

1.Test 1   (5 questions of  10 marks)


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