Electric conductivity of metals and non-metals

The Theory 

How the bub glow? How the machines work? It is due to electricity. Electricity is the flow of electrons.  

Electrical conductivity is ability of material to conduct electricity. Materials conduct electricity only when free electrons are available. Free electrons can travel across the material. 

Examples of conductors are iron, and copper 

Some materials conduct electricity. Such materials known as conductors.  Some materials cannot conduct electricity. These are known as insulators. 

Examples of insulators are plastic and woods. 


Making a circuit and test which material conduct electricity or not? 

Electric cell produces electricity from chemicals inside it. We can make bulb glow by connecting the wires from cell to terminals of bulb. Electricity from electric cell reaches to bulb by copper wires. So, copper wires conduct electricity. We can test conductivity of different materials by cutting a part of copper wires and connecting them to different materials. 

Conductors   Insulators 

Iron nail 

Sulphur lump 

Zinc granules 

Piece of paper 

Coal piece 

Stainless steel 

Piece of cloth 

Our body is the conductor of electricity. So, we want to be careful when we handle electrical appliances. We want to wear rubber shoes while we are working with electrical appliances. 

Wires are coated with plastic or rubber covering. This is to avoid electrical shocks. 


Learning Outcomes 

  • Students understand about the conductors and insulators. 
  • Students can test which materials are conductors or not. 
  • Students understand why we use plastic covering to the electrical connections.