1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Are a substance's electrical and heat conductivity related?

  1. Jan 25, 2016 #1
    For example can an object be very conductive to electricity but be a very poor conductor of heat and vise-versa, or is a good conductor of one always a good conductor of the other and a bad conductor of one always a bad conductor of both?
    If they are related, then how and why are they connected?
    If they are not related, then what differences allow the two properties to be independent of one another?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 25, 2016 #2


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    In solids, they are closely related. In liquids it is more complicated.

    Thermal conduction happens both via electrons and atoms, while electrical conduction is limited to electrons. Every good electrical conductor will also conduct heat, but there are some electrical insulators that still have a good thermal conductivity, like diamond.
    As usual, Wikipedia has a list.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook