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Name: Larry
Status: educator
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001


Question:
What is the listing of electrical conductive elements with the best conductor listed first?

I am currently in a program and there is no discussion of platinum or gold as conductors and what their ranking would be.

You can look up electrical (and thermal) conductivity data in handbooks on material properties at your reference library. Introductory books on electrical engineering also carry this information but perhaps not as extensively as a handbook. Silver, gold, and platinum are highly conductive but expensive, that is why copper is often used. Also note that electrical conductivity is temperature dependent; this dependency is responsible for certain materials exhibiting superconductivity (extremely high conductivity) at low temperatures.

Ali Khounsary, Ph.D.
Advanced Photon Source
Argonne National Laboratory


The Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, published by the Chemical Rubber Company, which can be found on the reference shelf of most libraries, give a list of resistivities of the elements. Copper, silver and gold have the lowest resistively, but remember that purity as well as crystal defects from how the metal was worked mechanically and annealed thermally can change the resistively greatly.

Vince Calder



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