A conductor is defined as a substance, such as an electrical wire, transmission line, or distribution line, via which electricity is transmitted. When voltage is provided, electrical charge carriers, often electrons or ions, travel effortlessly from atom to atom in a conductor. The majority of metals, including copper, are regarded as good conductors, whereas nonmetals, or insulators, are regarded as poor conductors.
Why are Conductors Important?
Conductors are useful and important for various reasons.
- It makes sure that ions or electrons can travel freely through it.
- Its interior has no electric field, allowing for the flow of ions or electrons.
- The electric field is parallel to the surface of the conductor outside of it.
- Because of its zero charge density, free charges can only exist on the surface and positive and negative charges cancel each other out.
Conductors also feature great heat conductivity and low resistance. Furthermore, a conductor in a magnetic field doesn’t store energy. Finally, the conductor’s ends are both at the same potential. When the potential at one end is altered, electrons can begin to move from one end to the other and electricity can flow through the conductor.
Also Read: What is Amorphous Semiconductor?
How Do Conductors Work?
The working of conductors can be learned with the study of the band theory of solid-state physics which states that solids are said to have a valence band and a conduction band. An electrical current cannot flow through a material if there is an energy gap between its valence band and conduction band. Because these bands overlap in conductors, electrons can move through the substance even when just a small voltage is applied. The introduction of voltage, an electromotive force, or a temperature action stimulates the outer electrons in the valence band, which causes them to shift from the valence band to the conduction band because they are only loosely bound to the atom.
These electrons have complete freedom to roam anywhere in the conduction band, where they are in great number. These electrons don’t go in a straight line; they move back and forth. Their speed is referred to as drift velocity, or Vd, for this reason. The reason electrons clash with material atoms or other electrons inside the conductor’s conduction band is due to this drift velocity.
Electrons go from the point of lower potency to the point of higher potency when there is a potential difference in the conductor between two places. Electricity flows in the opposite direction from electrons. The conductor material offers only minimal resistance in this case.