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Is resistor a conductor or an insulator?

  1. Aug 14, 2013 #1
    Is resistor a conductor or an insulator?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2013 #2


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    It's a resistor. Why do you feel the need for it to be a conductor or an insulator? It's sort of either one, depending on the resistance value. A very high resistance is a lot like an insulator and a very low resistance is a lot like a conductor. BUT, really, it's neither one. It's a resistor.
  4. Aug 14, 2013 #3
    Okay. Got it.. thanks :)
  5. Aug 14, 2013 #4


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    I could ask you, is there a conductor that isn't a resistor? (Not counting a superconductor.) And is there a so-called insulator that will not let any charge pass through it, whatever the voltage you apply across it?
    My advice is always to avoid asking (yourself) this sort of classification question. Elementary Science is full of examples where they tell kids (and beyond) that such and such is one thing and something else is something else. But those statements often do more to detract from the understanding rather than help. There are always exceptions; Solids / liquids / gases are another example where things just don't fit into an oversimplified model - what is porridge?
    Words can help but they should be our slaves and not our masters in Science. Save yourself a lot of worry and steer clear when you can. :smile:
  6. Aug 14, 2013 #5
    Just as sophiecentaur said a resistor is any wire under normal conditions , copper, aluminum , iron etc all that changes from one to another is the resistance , some have lower some higher some very high.
    What we normally refer to as a resistor in printed circuit boards or any other electronics , radio or otherwise stuff is a resistor which is a special kind of little device with two legs and a special coating on it usually , depending on the resistance needed they can be just a wire wound around a little tube (wire wound resistors) they are made for higher power ratings or they can be some metal oxide layer which has a poor conduction so turns out to be a good resistor.
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