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MCAT Chemistry – Conduction

  • by Kerry Goldstein
  • Mar 09, 2015
  • MCAT Blog, MCAT Chemistry, MCAT Question of the Day

A conducting material may be characterized by all of the following EXCEPT:

A. Flowing current
B. The conduction of electrons from one nucleus to another
C. Relatively low resistivity constants
D. Metallic materials such as copper and aluminum

 

Explanation

A. Flowing current
B. The conduction of electrons from one nucleus to another
C. Relatively low resistivity constants
D. Metallic materials such as copper and aluminum

This question is testing your understanding of conducting materials versus insulating materials. First, it’s important to define what it means to be a “good” conductor and “good” insulator. A conductor is any material that allows electrons to pass freely from one atom to another. Oppositely, an insulator is any material that holds on tightly to their outermost electrons and therefore prevents current from flowing. Therefore, a “good” conductor is a “bad” insulator and a visa versa.

Since conductors allow current to pass relatively easily, they have low resistivity constants eliminating A and C. Conductors are also typically metals such as copper or aluminum so D can be eliminated. B is the correct answer – electrons do not pass from one nucleus to another. Instead, electrons pass from one atom’s electron cloud to another. Remember, every word matters!

 

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