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What causes some elements to be conductive and other element to resist?

  1. Oct 29, 2011 #1
    Hi Guys,

    I am new here I have been programming for some time in C/C++/etc,but my knowledge in physics/chemistry I am currently improving I wanted to know why is the causes that makes some elements resist and some other elements conduct electricity ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 29, 2011 #2
    This depend on the electron/s in the outer most shell of the elements. If there is only one or two electrons in the outer orbit, each electron "sees" only one or two positive charge in the center( Remember the electrons in the inner orbits neutralize the excess positive charges so the outer most electron don't see it and only see the last one or two.). So each electron is "hold" be only one/two +ve charge to the center and easily be dislodged. So when a piece of material with many of these element, the electron can easily move between atoms and become conductive.

    For element with 4 or more electrons in the outer shell, each see 4 or more +ve charge and is being pull tightly towards the center and not able to escape and move between atoms. So no electricity can be conducted.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2011
  4. Oct 29, 2011 #3
    ^Thanks that made perfect sense.
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