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Why are metals good conductors of electricity?

Metals are the good conductors of electricity as the atoms in the metals form a metallic bond, where electrons are delocalized in ionic or covalent bonding. This indicates that the electrons can move freely throughout the metallic structure.

Electricity is the electrons flow, and since the electrons in the meals are delocalized, they can move through the structure and conduct electricity.

  • Metals have a free electron that moves easily from negative to positive battery terminals because of the potential difference.
  • Metals permit the electric current to pass through with low resistance.

 

The most common metals that are conductors of electricity includes

  • Copper
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Aluminum
  • Steel
  • Brass
  • Gold

Silver and Copper are the common ones!

Silver is considered the best conductor of electricity as it comprises a higher number of movable atoms.

And for a material to be a good conductor of electricity requires the electricity passed through it must be able to move the electrons.

This functions with “the more the free electrons in a metal, the greater its conductivity.”

Copper is considered a less conductive metal than silver, but it is a commonly used and cheaper option that is used in household appliances.

The advantage of choosing Copper is that it is easy to wrap and solder into the wires and is frequently used when a large amount of conductive material is needed.

 

Aluminum

Aluminum is more conductive metal than Copper and is also an inexpensive option. But the catch here is that it involves risks.

Aluminum is also utilized in household products or wirings. Still, it is not a common choice as it includes several flaws.

It tends to generate an electrically resistant oxide surface in the electrical connections that may cause a connection to overheat.

 

Gold

Gold is also a good conductor of electricity that generally does not tarnish like several other materials when exposed to air.

Gold is indeed an expensive choice that is only used in specific materials only like small electrical connectors, circuit board components, etc.

Several materials may also get the gold plating as an electric conductor.

 

Steel and Brass

Steel metal is an iron alloy that is a rigid material, highly corrosive when exposed to the air. It is generally not used in small machines and products.

Brass is also an alloy that is a tensile metal which makes it easy to mold and bend into the various parts for smaller machines. It is slightly more conductive, cheaper to buy, less corrosive than steel, and also retains its value after use.

 

Bottom Line!

Metals are considered as the good conductors of electricity as they have a large number of free valence electrons.

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What is the difference between Transverse and Longitudinal waves?

A wave refers to a disturbance that propagates the energy from one location to another, devoid of transporting any matter.

For instance, a stone hits the water surface and creates ripples that travel in concentric circles, with the radius increasing until they strike the pond’s boundary.

The longitudinal and transverse waves are the two types of waves.

Types of waves

  1. Longitudinal wave
  2. Transverse wave

 

  • Longitudinal wave

The waves where the medium’s particles move parallel to the wave propagation are known as longitudinal waves—for instance, Sound waves.

Longitudinal wave

It basically refers to the channel or medium that moves in the same direction as that of the wave. In this type, the particle’s movement is left to right and compels other particles to vibrate.

Longitudinal waves include seismic P waves and sound waves. The sound waves creation occurs through the particle velocity, a particle of displacement, and vibrations in pressure.

While talking about the seismic P waves, their production occurs by earthquakes and explosions. A slinky pushed horizontally or lying horizontally is an easy and straightforward way to demonstrate the longitudinal waves.

  • Transverse wave

The waves in which the medium’s particles move perpendicular to the wave propagation’s direction are known as the transverse wave—for instance, the ripples formed on the water surface.

Transverse wave

It refers to the channel or medium moving perpendicular to the wave’s direction. In this type of wave, the particles generally move up and down as the wave moves horizontally.

Transverse waves are generally moving waves whose oscillations are perpendicular to the propagation path.

An excellent example of such a type of wave is the one whose creation occurs on the drum’s membrane, and the wave’s propagation occurs in the directions that are parallel to the membrane’s plane.

The common occurrence of such waves takes place in elastic solids. A slinky or string moving up and down is an easy and simple way to demonstrate the transverse wave.

 

Understanding the difference between longitudinal and transverse waves!

Parameters Longitudinal wave Transverse wave
Movement The medium or channel in this type moves in the same direction as the wave The medium or channel in this type moves perpendicular to the direction of the wave
Alignment The wave cannot be aligned or polarized The waves can be aligned or polarized
Dimension Longitudinal waves act in one dimension Transverse waves act in two dimensions
Example An example of such type is the earthquake P wave An example of such type is Earthquake S wave
Production medium Such waves can be produced in any channel or medium like liquid, solid, or gas Such waves can be produced on liquid and solid’s surfaces
Constitution It is made of compressions and rarefactions It is made of crests and troughs

 

Bottom Line!

The essential difference that needs to be noted in both types of waves is that the energy propagation in a longitudinal wave is in the motion’s direction. In contrast, the energy propagation in the transverse wave is perpendicular to the motion’s direction.

 

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What is the difference between acceleration, speed, and velocity?

Before understanding the differences between the three terms it is essential to understand the whole concept and definitions.

Well, let us understand the concept with the help of an example.

Consider a picture where people are running across the field. So, while thinking about it, what comes to mind?

Maybe you will think about the speed to explain how fast they are running?

Or you might think of the acceleration to explain how the runners in the picture gain speed?

And some might think about the velocity to explain the direction in which they are running?

But what do these terms mean? As all three terms are related to motion, what is the difference between them?

While talking about the terms related to motion, it is essential to start by discussing the frame of reference.

Motion generally describes the change in the object’s motion, location, or direction, and the terms speed, acceleration, and velocity describe the motion of an object.

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So, this is the frame of reference. Let us get acquainted with all three terms individually.

Speed

Speed refers to the distance traveled per unit time irrespective of the direction. So, here the only magnitude of importance is a scalar quantity.

Speed is generally used to measure how fast an object is traveling and is calculated by its travel divided by the time it takes to travel the distance.

Speed of an object can be calculated as Distance/Time

Velocity

Velocity refers to the distance traveled per unit time in some specific direction. So here, both direction and magnitude are essential and are a vector quantity.

It states that “How fast an object is moving and in which direction?” Velocity is also measured in the same units as the speed, but the direction of motion is also provided in this case.

Velocity can be calculated as Displacement/Time

Acceleration

Acceleration refers to the rate of change of velocity of an object. Here both the direction and magnitude are considered, so it is a vector quantity.

It states that “How fast an object’s velocity is changing with time?” Basically, it is the rate of change of velocity during a specific period of time.

Acceleration can be calculated as a=v-u/t

Where “a” is acceleration, “v” is final velocity, “u” is the initial velocity, and “t” is time.

Let us now focus on the key differences between all three terms.

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Difference between Speed, Acceleration, and Time

Comparison Parameters Speed Acceleration Velocity
Quantity Type Scalar Quantity Vector Quantity Vector Quantity
Determining Factors Distance and Time Velocity and Time Displacement and Time
Relation with motion Rate of Motion Direction and rate of motion Rate of change of velocity
Formula Distance/ Time Velocity/ Time Displacement/ Time
Units of measurement m/s, km/h, mph m/s2 m/s
Ascertains How fast an object is traveling? How fast an object’s velocity is changing with time? How fast an object is moving and in which direction?

 

Conclusion

All three terms can be defined by

Speed is the rate of distance change, representing how much distance is covered in a particular time.

Velocity is the rate of change of displacement that represents the distance change in a specific direction with respect to time.

And Acceleration is the rate of velocity change per unit of time.

 

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What are the different ways that energy can be transferred?

Energy conversion refers to the energy moving from one location to the other one. And if we talk about energy transformation, it refers to the energy changes from one form to some other form.

For instance, in a hydroelectric dam, the water’s kinetic energy is transformed into electrical energy.

There are three ways of energy transformation, conduction, convection, and radiation. Let us get acquainted with each one separately.

  1. Conduction

In solids, the energy can be transferred by conduction. While talking about heat, thermal energy is passed from an object’s hotter end to the cold end by the particles. As the hotter particles vibrate a lot, they cause even the following particles to vibrate and gain some heat energy. Solids are known as heat conductors because their particles are tightly packed.

Let us understand it with the help of an example.

Whenever a saucepan is placed on a hob, its handle also gets hot because of conduction over time. The heat from the pan’s bottom will cause its particles to vibrate, leading to all the surrounding particles vibrating until the handle gets hot.

  1. Radiation

The radiation process is different from the convection and conduction processes because it does not require particles in its energy transfer. Radiation is like how we feel the heat when we move out, the sun’s heat on the earth, and so that the waves pass through the space’s vacuum where there are no particles present.

Even infrared radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation that indicates that energy is transferred by the waves, not through the particles.

  1. Convection

Fluids can transfer heat energy by convention. This includes both gases and liquids. Convection is basically a cyclic process that often occurs in fluids.

Let us understand the concept with the help of an example.

Firstly, imagine that a water beaker is being heated from the underside. And as the particles of water at the bottom of the beaker get hot, they start expanding and become less dense. This indicates that they will rise to the beaker’s top, and then the other cold particles will fall down to replace the hotter ones.

After some time, the colder particles at the bottom will get heated, and they will rise to the top. The eater at the top of the beaker that was heated in the beginning will get slightly colder and will again sink down to the bottom of the beaker, but then those particles will get reheated, and the same process will occur again.

This constant fluid flow is due to the change or expansion in particle density known as the convection current. And over time, the entire fluid reaches a constant temperature.

Let us first get familiar with several energy transformations that occur in our daily life.

Examples of energy transformation

  1. Electric motors: This is generally used in various appliances, including refrigerators, fans, etc. Here, in this case, the electrical energy is transformed into Kinetic energy.
  2. Electric generators: Electric generators are generally used to generate electricity where the mechanical energy is converted into electrical energy.
  3. Electric iron: Electric iron is often used to iron the clothes where the electrical energy is generally converted into heat energy.
  4. Radio: Radio is generally used to listen to the news or songs where the electrical energy is converted to kinetic energy, and this kinetic energy is further converted to sound energy.
  5. Electric Bulbs: Electric bulbs produce light where the electrical energy is converted into heat energy, and the heat energy is then further converted into light energy.

You may find ample such common examples that you use in daily life but never emphasized. Several other examples include solar cells, gas stoves, steam engines, car engines, and many more.

 

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What is the terminal velocity of an object?

The two concepts, one is terminal velocity, and another is free fall are interrelated which tends to get confusing as they depend on whether or not a body is in a fluid or in empty space. But before moving forward it is essential to get familiar with the definitions. Let us start with it. 

What is terminal velocity? 

The term terminal velocity refers to the highest velocity attained by an object which is falling through a fluid. The terminal velocity is observed when the sum of buoyancy and drag force is equal to the downward gravitational force acting on the object. 

The object’s acceleration is zero as the net force acting on an object is zero. In fluid mechanics, for an object to achieve its terminal velocity it should have an unvaried speed against the force exerted by the fluid. 

The formula for Terminal Velocity 

vterminal

Where, 

V Terminal : Terminal Velocity 

G Acceleration due to gravity 

H: height from the ground 

Equation of Terminal Velocity 

The mathematical representation of terminal velocity is 

2mg

Or 

Vt = (2mg/ρACd)1/2 

Where, 

Vt: terminal velocity 

M: Falling object’s mass 

Cd: drag coefficient 

g: acceleration due to gravity 

𝜌: fluid’s density through which the object is falling 

A: area projected by the object 

In the case of liquids, it is essential to account for an object’s buoyancy. Archimedes’ principle is used to account for volume’s displacement (V) by the mass. Then the equation becomes: 

Vt = [2(m – ρV)g/ρACd]1/2 

What is the terminal velocity of an object? 

The term terminal velocity of an object refers to the highest velocity it can reach while falling through some defined medium, usually air in practice. This invariable velocity is attained when the net force applied to the particular object is zero. That means the resistance is similar to the force being applied by gravity. 

Let us consider this with a real-life example. For instance, 

If you were to throw a tennis ball off a helicopter, that ball would accelerate at a decreasing rate till it reaches a speed that is so high that the air resistance it was facing was equal to the force that gravity has applied to it. 

Here applying Newton’s first and second laws, we can work out which states that it will continue at an unvaried velocity till it hits the ground. However, several factors affect the object’s terminal velocity which includes aerodynamics and its weight. The terminal velocity will be varied in different fluids like any object will have lower terminal velocity in water as compared to air because of its higher density. 

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What is the difference between alpha and gamma radiation?

Radioactivity is an act of emitting radiation spontaneously. It is an unstable atomic nucleus to achieve a stable configuration by giving up some of its energy. During radioactivity, three primary types of radiation are emitted by radioactive particles including alpha, beta, and gamma.   

The three major radiation types emitted by radioactive particles include 

  • Alpha 
  • Beta 
  • Gama 

These radiations are released from the atom’s nucleus and are emitted by the atom because of an unstable atom trying to gain stability. 

And even their behaviors differ from one another. So, let us take a closer look at each type. 

Alpha Particles 

Alpha particles are the largest particles with the least penetrative power. It carries a positive charge and comprises two protons and two neutrons bound together. An alpha particle later got recognized as helium 4 nucleus. 

These particles have the greatest mass among the other types of radioactive emissions. An alpha particle’s mass is around 8000 times more than the beta particle’s mass. This large size of an alpha particle reduces its penetrative power. 

Properties of alpha particles 

  • Alpha particles are heavy, positive, and slow in movement.
  • The alpha particle’s travel speed is five to seven percent of the speed of light.
  • In cancer treatment, radiotherapy uses alpha particles to kill cancer cells.

Beta Particles 

Beta particles are high-energy positrons or electrons carrying a negative charge. These are considerably smaller in size and have higher penetrative power. 

Properties of Beta particles 

  • Beta particles are used as a trace for medical imaging 
  • Beta particles carry a positive charge namely a positron or a negative charge namely an electron
  • Due to their small mass, beta particles travel at the speed of light
  • Beta particles have therapeutic uses in eye cancer and bone treatment.

Gamma Rays 

Gamma rays are not particles with a mass. These are a kind of electromagnetic radiation which are considerably higher in energy as compared to X-rays. Being a form of energy, gamma rays have no mass and size. But these are far more harmful to humans as compared to the X-rays. However, the charge of gamma rays is neutral. 

Properties of Gamma particles 

  • Gamma particles have no mass
  • Gamma particles have no electrical charge
  • It can also travel at the speed of light
  • Gamma rays are used for sterilizing medical instruments and oncology.

 

Comparison chart 

Basis for comparison  Alpha  Beta  Gamma 
Representation  α  β  γ 
Charge  It is positively charged  It is positively or negatively charged  It has no charge 
Basic  It is similar to helium nucleus because of protons presence  It is a positron or an electron  It’s a photon that carries electromagnetic energy. 
Propagating speed  It is very less than the velocity of light  It is a little less than the velocity of light  It is equal to the velocity of light 
Size  It’s quite large  It is comparatively small  It is extremely minute because it is massless. 
Mass  6.65*10-27 Kg  9.10*10-31 Kg  0 
Application  In an unsealed source radiotherapy  In monitoring material thickness  In nuclear industry 

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