# Are There Negative Conductivities/Resistivities?

1. Oct 11, 2013

### CanIExplore

Are there such things as negative conductivities and/or resistivities in the real world? If so, what would these materials' electric characteristics be? This question is coming from my reading in an EM textbook where the EM wave equations are solved for a source-free, lossy medium (finite conductivity).

In the dispersion equation,

$\gamma$=$\pm$$\sqrt{j\omega\mu(\sigma+j\omega\epsilon)}$

the textbook states that the conductivity $\sigma$ can be allowed to take on positive or negative values but they don't explain what a negative conductivity would mean.

Thanks!

2. Oct 11, 2013