Is a tea pot a conductor?

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mathscihelp | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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Is a tea pot a conductor?

More information needs to be provided to definitively answer this question. The final answer will depend upon two component topics which include the following:

Conduction - What type of conduction are we dealing with? Two types of conduction come to mind, thermal or electrical. Thermal conduction involves heat transfer, whereas electrical conduction involves electron transfer.

Tea Pot Material - What type of material is the tea pot made of? Certainly, the material that a tea pot is made of must be a thermal conductor. Heat must flow from a source (e.g., stove burner) through the tea pot material to heat up the water inside. Thus, all (good) tea pots must be thermal conductors. Are all tea pots also electrical conductors? No. It all depends upon the material that a tea pot is made off. What about tea pots made of clay or porcelain? Although such materials are good thermal conductors, they are very poor electrical conductors.

Thus, one needs to consider both of these topics when making an informed response to this question.

As an extension to this question think about the following:

At the molecular level, why are clay and porcelain good thermal conductors but poor electrical conductors?

 

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