The metals that conduct electricity the best are silver, copper and aluminum. Both copper and aluminum are used extensively in electrical wiring. Silver, though it conducts electricity better than either of the other two, is too expensive for common usage.
Carbon is the only nonmetal outside of the metalloid group that conducts electricity. Metalloids are a group of related nonmetal elements with some metal traits, including the ability to conduct electricity. Other nonmetals are electrical insulators.
There is no metal that does not conduct electricity entirely, but there are some metals that are less effective conductors than others. Metal atoms have electrons in their outer shells that are not tied to any particular atom and can flow freely within the metal when electricity is applied.
Metals conduct electricity well due to the fact that the outermost electrons in their atoms are held by weak atomic forces, allowing these electrons to flow easily from one atom to another. This flow of electrons is what lies at the heart of an electric current.
Metals are able to conduct electricity because they have valence electrons. These are electrons that can move through the atoms that make up the metal. As they do so, they are able to pass along electric currents as they repel other electrons in the atom.
While some metals are better than others, all metals conduct electricity and heat relatively well. The best metals in terms of conductance are silver, copper and gold while the worst metals are stainless steel, lead and platinum.
The list of most conductive metals includes silver, copper and gold. The conductivity standard of metal is based on silver, which is the most conductive of all metals.
There are no non-conductive metals; all metals conduct electricity, though some do this more effectively than others. Thanks to the molecular structure of metals, they are all relatively effective conductors, though silver is the most conductive metal known to man.
Water can easily conduct electricity if it contains ionic compounds, but pure water does not conduct electricity. Pure water is rarely found in nature, therefore the majority of water found on Earth does conduct electricity.
Metals conduct heat because they have free electrons in their atoms. When a metal is subject to heat, the free electrons move, spreading the heat to the nearest atoms. The heat is then transferred throughout the metal.