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Home > Chemistry > Properties of substances > Conduction of electricity


Conduction of electricity


In school Chemistry you will meet hundreds of chemical substances. In the wider world there are literally millions of them - all made from around one hundred elements. We can't ever hope to know about them all, but we can get to grips with a surprising amount of information more easily by looking at how chemicals behave - we study their properties and classify them accordingly. The propertyof substances that we shall concentrate on in this section is conduction of electricity.

Before you start

Before you go on with this section it would be useful to know the answers to these questions:

  • What are elements?
  • How do elements differ from compounds?
  • What are ions and how do they differ from atoms?


To understand this section it would be helpful to know these words:

  • Ionic compounds are compounds made of charged particles (ions) held together by ionic bonds. The positive ions are usually formed by metals having lost one or more electrons. The negative ions are usually formed by non-metals gaining one or more extra electrons.
  • Covalent compounds are made of atoms whuch are joined by bonds where electrons are shared. Usually it is only non-metals which form covalent compounds.


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