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Use the data in Table 12.2 to answer the following -

(a) Which among iron and mercury is a better conductor?
(b) Which material is the best conductor?


Table 12.2 Electrical resistivity of some substances at 20°C 

Material Resistivity (Ω m)
Conductors Silver 1.60 × 10−8
Copper 1.62 × 10−8
Aluminium 2.63 × 10−8
Tungsten 5.20 × 10−8
Nickel 6.84 × 10−8
Iron 10.0 × 10−8
Chromium 12.9 × 10−8
Mercury 94.0 × 10−8
Manganese 1.84 × 10−6
Constantan
(alloy of Cu and Ni)
49 × 10−6
Alloys Manganin
(alloy of Cu, Mn and Ni)
44 × 10−6
Nichrome
(alloy of Ni, Cr, Mn and Fe)
100 × 10−6
Glass 1010 − 1014
Insulators Hard rubber 1013 − 1016
Ebonite 1015 − 1017
Diamond 1012 − 1013
Paper (dry) 1012
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(a) Resistivity of iron = 10.0 x 10-8 Ω
Resistivity of mercury = 94.0 x 10-8 Ω
Resistivity of mercury is more than that of iron. This implies that iron is a better conductor than mercury.

(b) It can be observed from Table 12.2 that the resistivity of silver is the lowest among the listed materials. Hence, it is the best conductor.

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