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Q & A: Electrical and heat conductivity

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Most recent answer: 11/12/2009
Q:
I understand that copper is the better conductor of electricity because it has less resistance, but is nichrome a better conductor of heat since it has more resistance? What are common uses for copper and nichrome in our everyday lives?
- Kristy (age 29)
Harrodsburg, KY
A:
Both heat and electricity in metals are largely conducted by electrons roaming around.  So, a high resistance metal will conduct heat less well than a low resistance metal.   Nichrome has a high resistivity.  This effect is described by the Wiedemann–Franz law
See: 

LeeH

(published on 11/12/2009)

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