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Conductors, Insulators and Optical Fiber- Definition, Classification, Difference, And Uses

Conductor and Insulator

Let us understand what is meant by Conductor and Insulator. Learn which is the best conductor to use and which is hazardous. Before using know which material is shock-resistant and the one which gives you the shock.

Conductors & Insulators

Conductors are the materials which conduct electricity which means the materials which pass electricity through it are known as conductors.  Electrons of different atoms have different degrees of freedom to move around in the material. In the materials like metals, the outermost electrons in the atoms are loosely bound that they randomly move in space between the atoms of that material. Conductors let the transfer of charges through the freely moving electrons since electrons are virtually unbound and are allowed to leave their respective atoms and roam around in the space between adjacent atoms. Electron movement in the material is measured in terms of electrical conductivity. Electrical conductivity differs from material to material and conductors exhibit high electrical conductivity.

Some of the examples to conductors are:

  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • copper
  • gold
  • Iron
  • silver
  • brass
  • Bronze
  • Lemon water
  • mercury
  • graphite
  • dirty water
  • concrete

Copper is the commonly used conductor that is used in manufacturing electrical wires since it is a very good conductor of electricity. Copper is easily available and is economical to use compared to gold and silver.

Note: Adding salt to the water increases its conductivity.

The conductivity of the conductors depends on the temperature and pressure in the which material is placed. When temperature increases atoms and electrons gain energy and exhibits better conductivity.

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Insulators are the type of material with low electron mobility or with no free electrons. Insulators do not let electrons flow easily from one atom to another. Insulators are materials whose electrons in atoms are tightly bound. These electrons are not free to move around in the material and are bound inside. Conductive objects are often mounted upon insulating objects since it conducts electricity. This organization of a conductor is usually made on the top of an insulator since it blocks charges from being transported from the conductive material to the surroundings.

Some of the examples of insulators are:

  • Fiberglass
  • Quartz
  • Glass
  • Rubber
  • Asphalt
  • Air
  • Porcelain
  • Diamond
  • Ceramic
  • Cotton
  • Plastic
  • Pure water
  • Oil
  • Wood
  • Paper

Thermal Insulators, reject heat to move from one material to another. Insulators are used in manufacturing in fireproofing ceilings and walls and thermoplastic bottles. Sound insulators prevent the sound and noise entering the building. Hence it is used in the conference room and meeting rooms.

Types of Optical Fiber

The optical fiber is the improved version of the transmission which has replaced the copper cables and is considered one of the best ways of communication for a long distance without any loss in the signal.

The optical fiber is one of the greatest inventions that has transformed the technology tremendously. The optical fiber is a flexible, transparent fiber made of pure glass silica or plastic. The main advantage of the fiber is that it can transmit the higher bandwidth signal to long distances with minimal or negligible loss. It is widely used in lighting and illumination purpose along with the signal transmission.

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There are three types of optical fiber

  • Single mode optical fiber
  • Multimode optical fiber with a stepped index
  • Multimode optical fiber with graded index
  • Microstructured optical fibers

Single mode Optical Fiber transmits only one mode of light, ie it carries only one wavelength of light across its length. Usually, the wavelength of the range 1310 nm or 1550 nm.

Multimode optical fiber allows multiple modes of light to travel along their axis with wavelength ranging from 850 to 1300 nm.

Microstructured optical fibers are the fibers in which light travels due to total internal reflection and refractive indices of the core and cladding of the optical fiber.

For more interesting information, visit BYJU’S

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