There are multiple steps that people can use to prove if copper is an insulator or a conductor. Essentially, there is a huge gap that stands between conductors and insulators. In most cases, conductors have delocalized electrons that allow them to be good transfers of heat and electricity. Disparate from conductors, insulators do not have mobile electrons, which explains why they are considered poor conductors. It’s worth noting that both insulators and conductors have special applications. That being said, let’s focus on the main punch—how to know that copper is a conductor or an insulator.
As pointed out, there are multiple techniques that you can employ whenever you want to know if copper is a good conductor or an insulator. The first strategy is putting what you acquired in a Chemistry class into a practical perspective. This means that you can set up an experiment that brings together copper plus other metals that act as control experiments. The essence of having a control experiment is to ensure that you have credible results, and it is advisable to use a metal that is a poor conductor or an insulator such as wood for that purpose. To ensure that you have accurate results, ensure that the length and diameter of copper plus other metals selected are the same.
After all, conditions have been made, cover the end of each object with a wax coat. Equally, ensuring that each metal carries an equal amount of wax is a perfect way of ensuring that you have reliable results. Heat one end of the objects simultaneously and record your observations. It’s important to realize that there is one major observation that can be made from this experiment. You will observe that the wax coating on copper will melt while the coating on wood remaining the same. Since copper is a good conductor of heat, it allows heat to pass through that saw the melting of the wax.
The good thing is that this is not the only method that you can depend on to know if copper is a good conductor or an insulator. If you find that the above procedure is to involve one reason or the other, you can use the periodic table concept to get much-needed answers. The important thing about the periodic table is that it does not limit everything to copper or any other considered a conductor. Not only that, using the periodic table will help you to understand why some elements are more reactive than others in what’s popularly known as the reactivity series.
One thing is always certain when you study a periodic table: conductors have extra electrons in their composition. These excess molecules are delocalized or mobile as popularly known. Conduction follows a distinctive chemical process; that is to say, one electron takes heat and passes it to the next molecules. The process continues until all the electrons get heated up, which explains the general metrics of conduction.
Insulators have a slight difference in their electrons makeup, and they are positioned differently on the periodic table. In most cases, insulators are regarded as neutral, and you will see all of them on the right side. When you move across the period from right to left, the number of molecules increases, but the protons will decrease. This will weaken the molecular forces of attraction, making elements to be conductors. Another interesting factor that you can learn from this is that silver is a better conductor than copper.
What is more, you can still know if copper is an insulator or conductor through research. Researchers and educationists have written everything that you want to know about conductors and insulators. They have published their findings in books plus academic journals. Interested people are only required to grab a copy of these publications, and everything about copper will be at their fingertips. Since online sources are the largest library for anybody looking for new information or learning materials, they can help you know if copper is a conductor or an insulator.
Similarly, you can know if copper is a conductor or an insulator by asking your friend or family members. However, make sure that they have a clear understanding of copper and conductivity series before going for them.