2039 Words9 Pages

Resistance Investigation
Introduction
Electricity is something we have all around us every day but we never
really think about it, even though it is such an important part of
ours life’s.
What is electricity?
Before investigating the resistance of different metals it is
important to understand the principal of electricity. Electricity is
formed by the movement or flow of electrons being attracted away from
their atoms by an applied force. This is easier to do with the some
elements than with others. All atoms are made up of a central nucleus
containing a number of positively charged protons and some have
neutral charged neutrons this overhaul positive charge of the nucleus
is counter balanced with negatively charged electrons that orbit the
nucleus in layers or shells, this gives the atom an overhaul neutral
charge. In some materials the electrons in the outer shell are only
just hanging on by a very weak bond and can move around at random
between atoms of the same material these are called free electrons.
If a positive charge is applied to the material the free electrons
will be attracted towards it pulling them away from their atoms these
atoms it turn will become positively charged and will attract free
electrons away from other atoms, this will create a flow of electrons,
this flow is called current.
Some types of structures are called non-conductive (some plastics and
ceramics), and some are called conductive (metals). An atom with the
least amount of free electrons in its outer orbit is called an
insulator (non-conductive) an atom with many free electrons in its
outer orbit are more conductive (conductors). Non-conductive
characteristics are the molecular makeup of insulators. Conductive
characteristics are the molecular makeup of conductors containing many
free electrons in its outer orbit. An example of an atom that allows
many free electrons and readily looses or gains it total number of
free electrons makes it a good conductor of electrons and would have a
conductive property similar to copper.

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