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Conductors and Inductors?

  1. May 30, 2010 #1
    Can all conductors be inductors and could all inductors be conductors?

    I get confused about this because I know that inductor can be positively charges by a conductor. Can an conductor become an inductor by losing its charge from an inductor?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 31, 2010 #2

    Born2bwire

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    I would say, outside of an external means (say temperature) to change the chemistry or physical properties of a material, that a conductor cannot be an insulator and vice-versa. The two materials are exclusively defined. A conductor is a material where the electrons have no barriers from moving from the valence band to the conduction band and are more or less free to move about the material. An insulator is a material that has a significant barrier between the energies of the valence electrons and those of the closest conduction band levels. A semiconductor has properties of both in that there is still a bandgap (a series of energy levels between the valence and conduction bands that electrons cannot exist at), but the bandgap is small enough that we can excite electrons from the valence to the conduction band by injecting sufficient energy into them.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  4. May 31, 2010 #3
    All conductors are posess inductance without exception.
     
  5. May 31, 2010 #4

    Born2bwire

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    I don't think he means inductance and capacitance, but insulator and conductor in terms of the chemical (and atomic) properties of the material.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  6. May 31, 2010 #5
    Ok, how about: All real wires irrespective of their their chemical and atomic properties as long as they conduct electric current are inductors.

    What am I missing?
     
  7. May 31, 2010 #6

    Born2bwire

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    $#&!%@. I think he means INSULATOR and conductor, I got caught up with the word "inductor" that he was using. Going off his positive and negative charges statements, I assumed that he was talking about conductors and insulators where you can strip off the electrons of an insulator to make it positively charged and negatively charge a conductor. Don't know why I kept using his word "inductor." Otherwise his statement about charges does not make sense in terms of inductance and conductance. I'll change my previous posts to reflect this.
     
  8. May 31, 2010 #7
    So from what I understand is that conductors and inductors are constantly
    switching. Is this correct?
     
  9. May 31, 2010 #8
    No mapa. You mean insulator not inductor. Inductor means something completely different.

    And no they aren't usually changing.
     
  10. May 31, 2010 #9
    Every conductor has inductance. It doesn't switch from being a conductor and being an inductor, inductance just comes with conducting current. An inductor is just a conductor shaped to exaggerate the inductance...a wire wound in a coil. Inductors are not charged, either positively or negatively.

    If you mean insulator instead of inductor, then in a substance is either a conductor or an insulator, materials generally don't switch between the two. If enough voltage is applied, an insulator will conduct current, but this generally destroys the insulator.

    Charge isn't involved here the way you were describing either...insulators and conductors are both normally electrically neutral, but can be positively or negatively charged. Charge doesn't make something an insulator or a conductor. (or an inductor)
     
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