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CONDUCTORS AND INSULATORS

All substances have some ability of conducting the electric current, however, they differ greatly in the ease with which the current can pass through them. Solid metals conduct electricity with ease while non-metals do not allow it to flow freely. Thus, there are conductors and insulators.

What do the terms "conductors" and "insulators" mean?

This difference is expressed by what is called electrical conductivity of the body. It depends upon the atomic constitution of the body. Substances through which electricity is easily transmitted are called conductors. Any material that strongly resists the electric current flow is known as an insulator.

Conductance, that is the conductor's ability of passing electric charges, depends on the four factors: thesize of the wire used, its length and temperature as well as the kind of material to be employed.

A large conductor will carry the current more readily than a thinner one. To flow through a short conductor is certainly easier for the current than through a long one in spite of their being made of similar material. Hence, the longer the wire, the greater is its opposition, that is resistance, to the passage of current.

There is a great difference in the conducting ability of various substances. Almost all metals are good electric current conductors. The best conductors are silver, copper, gold and aluminum. Nevertheless, copper carries the current more freely than iron; and silver, in its turn, is a better conductor than copper. Copper is the most widely used conductor. The electrically operated devices are connected to the wall socket by copper wires.

A material which resists the flow of the electric current is called an insulator.

The higher the opposition is, the better the insulator is. There are many kinds of insulation used to cover the wires. The kind used depends upon the purposes the wire or cord is meant for. The insulating materials generally used to cover the wires are rubber, asbestos, glass, plastics and others. The best insulators are oil, rubber and glass.

Rubber covered with cotton, or rubber alone is the insulating material usually used to cover desk lamp cords and radio cords.

Glass is the insulator to be often seen on the poles that carry the telephone wires in city streets. Glass insulator strings are usually suspended from the towers of high voltage transmission lines. One of the most important insulators of all, however, is air. That is why power transmission line wires are bare wires depending on air to keep the current from leaking off.

Conducting materials are by no means the only materials to play an important part in electrical engineering. There must certainly be a conductor, that is a path, along which electricity is to travel and there must be insulators keeping it from leaking off the conductor.

II. Give the Russian equivalents for the words and word combinations below:

1) conductors; 2) insulators; 3) transmit; 4) resistance; 5) passage of current; 6) socket; 7) to connect to; 8) cord; 9) high voltage transmission line; 10) leak off.

III. Find in the text the sentences with the following related words and translate them:

conducting – conductor – conductivity – conductance


Date: 2015-12-24; view: 293


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