Conductor: Know the Definition, Example, Difference Between Conductors and Insulators

There are two sorts of materials: insulators and conductors. While an insulator does not allow any energy to travel through it,

Conductor: Know the Definition, Example, Difference Between Conductors and Insulators

There are two sorts of materials: insulators and conductors. While an insulator does not allow any energy to travel through it, a conductor does allow some energy to pass through it (e.g., current or heat).

The comparison table below explains some of the other distinctions between Conductors and Insulators.

Comparison Chart

Basis For Comparison




Electrically conductive or thermally permeable material.

Limit the flow of electricity or heat via it.

Electric Field

In contrast to what appears on the surface, the conductor remains at zero within.

On an insulator, they don't exist.

Magnetic Field

Assemble power

Do not store energy


The conductor should remain the same at every stage.

Remain at a bare minimum of one.

Thermal Conductivity



Covalent bond




Very high






Freely move

Do not move freely


To a greater or lesser extent


Temperature coefficient

Resistance with a high-temperature coefficient

Resistance with a negative temperature coefficient

Conduction band

Electrons abound.

Remain empty

Valence Band

Empty all the time

Electrons abound.

Forbidden gap

There is no such thing as a "gap."

Large forbidden gap


Alu-aluminum-silver-copper and other metals

A large, unexplored void like Rubber, wood, paper, and so on.


Conductors and electrical wires

In electrical conductors, electrical cables, and other electrical equipment, as an insulator.

What is a Conductor?

Material that permits heat or electric current to travel through it is referred to as a conductor. When a potential difference is introduced across a conductor, the electrons may freely flow from atom to atom. The amount of free electrons in the conductor's outermost orbital shell determines the conductivity of the conductor, and conductivity is directly related to the number of electrons in the substance.

The quantity of free electrons in a substance determines its conductivity.

Because the valence and conductance bands overlap, there is no forbidden energy gap in a conductor's round. When a voltage is placed across a conductor, the charges can travel easily from place to place because of the conductor's low resistance. Conductors include copper, aluminium, silver, mercury, and other metals.

What Is an Insulator?

An insulator is a material that acts as a barrier to the passage of electric current or heat. Electrons or charges cannot readily flow through insulators due to their robust covalent bonds. The insulator's resistance is relatively high.

Electrical equipment requires insulation to keep conductors separate and to act as structural support. This makes it difficult for electrons to travel from one band to another in an insulator because the gap is significant. Some common insulators are paper, ceramics, and wood. You may also use this material to make an electrical cable.

Insulator vs Conductor: What's the Difference?

  • As opposed to insulators, conductors enable the passage of electric current or heat through them, while inductors do not allow this to happen.
  • The electric field exists only on the conductor's surface, and it is zero inside the conductor, in contrast to an insulator since the conductor is a conductor.
  • When exposed to a magnetic field, a conductor loses its ability to keep energy, but an insulator retains it.
  • The thermal conductivity of the conductor is relatively high, while the thermal conductivity of the insulator is very low.
  • It's a feature of the material that permits heat to move through freely and unhindered. When it comes to heat transfer, thermal conductivity is a metric.
  • In contrast to insulators, the covalent bonds that exist between the atoms of conductors are very fragile.
  • A covalent bond is a chemical relationship formed by the sharing of electrons between atoms, and it is the most common kind of chemical bond.
  • When a potential difference is applied across a conductor, electrons are free to move from atom to atom. Electrons are locked in place by atomic-level forces when a potential difference is used across an insulator.
  • It is dependent on the conductivity of the medium how quickly temperature and electrical charge pass through it.
  • Electrons may easily pass from one atom to another because of the conductor's low resistance, and the insulator's resistance is high.
  • There are many free electrons in conductors, but there are only a small number of free electrons in insulators.
  • The potential of a conductor is constant, whereas the possibility of an insulator is absent.
  • The resistivity of a conductor varies from high to low, but the resistivity of an insulator is relatively high.
  • The capacity of a substance to tolerate stress is referred to as its resistivity.
  • The thermal coefficient of resistance of the conductor is positive, while the thermal coefficient of resistance of the insulator is negative.
  • The thermal coefficient of resistance of a material measures how temperature affects the material's physical characteristics. The phrase "positive thermal coefficient of resistance" refers to a scenario in which the resistance increases due to increased temperature. With a negative thermal coefficient, resistance decreases as the temperature rises.
  • In a conductor, electrons fill the conduction band, while electrons are absent from the conduction band in an insulator.
  • Unlike an insulator's valence band, the valence band of a conductor is empty of any electrons.

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