Browse Definitions :
Definition

conductor

An electrical conductor is a substance in which electrical charge carriers, usually electrons, move easily from atom to atom with the application of voltage. Conductivity, in general, is the capacity to transmit something, such as electricity or heat. 

Pure elemental silver is the best electrical conductor encountered in everyday life. Copper, steel, gold, aluminum, and brass are also good conductors. In electrical and electronic systems, all conductors comprise solid metals molded into wires or etched onto circuit boards.

Some liquids are good electrical conductors. Mercury is an excellent example. A saturated salt-water solution acts as a fair conductor. Gases are normally poor conductors because the atoms are too far apart to allow a free exchange of electrons. However, if a sample of gas contains a significant number of ions, it can act as a fair conductor.

A substance that does not conduct electricity is called an insulator or dielectric material. Common examples include most gases, porcelain, glass, plastic, and distilled water. A material that conducts fairly well, but not very well, is known as a resistor. The most common example is a combination of carbon and clay, mixed together in a specific ratio to produce a constant and predictable opposition to electric current

Substances called semiconductors act as good conductors under some conditions and poor conductors under other conditions. Silicon, germanium, and various metal oxides are examples of semiconductor materials. In a semiconductor, both electrons and so-called holes (electron absences) act as charge carriers.

At extremely low temperatures, some metals will conduct electricity better than any known substance at room temperature. This phenomenon is called superconductivity, and a substance that behaves that way is called a superconductor.

This was last updated in May 2012

Continue Reading About conductor

SearchCompliance
  • OPSEC (operations security)

    OPSEC (operations security) is a security and risk management process and strategy that classifies information, then determines ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract is a decentralized application that executes business logic in response to events.

  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting ...

SearchSecurity
  • private key

    A private key, also known as a secret key, is a variable in cryptography that is used with an algorithm to encrypt and decrypt ...

  • DOS (disk operating system)

    A DOS, or disk operating system, is an operating system that runs from a disk drive. The term can also refer to a particular ...

  • security token

    A security token is a physical or digital device that provides two-factor authentication for a user to prove their identity in a ...

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • What is risk mitigation?

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • change control

    Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system.

  • disaster recovery (DR)

    Disaster recovery (DR) is an organization's ability to respond to and recover from an event that affects business operations.

SearchStorage
  • What is RAID 6?

    RAID 6, also known as double-parity RAID, uses two parity stripes on each disk. It allows for two disk failures within the RAID ...

  • VRAM (video RAM)

    VRAM (video RAM) refers to any type of random access memory (RAM) specifically used to store image data for a computer display.

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

Close