Resistors: Poor or semi conductors?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by arthur92710, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. arthur92710

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jun 25, 2007
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    Resistors: Poor or semi conductors?

    I'm stumped, what is the best word to describe what a resistor is made of? :confused:
    In my understanding a 'Poor Conductor' (Not a rail-road joke from my project) is an insulator. In the +Mega Ohm range. While a semi conductor would just not pass as much voltage as copper.

    Simply, I know that the pink stuff in the walls is a poor conductor of heat and the stuff in my electronics are semi-conductors. Would it be weird to say 'computers are filled with poor conductors.'?

    Wikipidia says
    Semiconductor: "This means a conductivity roughly in the range of 10^3 to 10^−8 siemens per centimeter."
    What?:confused:

    I hope its not too tricky,

    Confused :confused:
    -Arthur
     
  2. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    "Semiconductors" have a discontinuity to allow the holes and electrons to be influenced by outside signals. This is usually acheived by doping a base material that is typically an insulator, such as silicon. See the wikipedia article for a bit more information on the differences. This description is extremely vague (it's late)

    Other conductors, even poor ones, do not have that property. e.g. wire, resistors, etc.
     
  3. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Both, actually. Early resistors used carbon, but in it's amorphous form. Most semiconductors depend heavily on crystalline structure, and carbon is technically a semiconductor (but the reality is isn't, though graphene shows promise).

    Resistors also use wire that has high resistance.

    If I had to pick one it would be a poor conductor.
     
  4. Rbeckett

    Member

    Sep 3, 2010
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    Think of a resistor as a water hose with a kink in it. The water flows, just not as fast as the hose with no kink in it. Kinda simplified, but it works for me.
    Bob
     
  5. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Perhaps not weird, but why not just call them resistors?

    Of course, you may not have defined resistor, but then you haven't defined conductor either. How can your reader know what a poor conductor is, if you haven't defined good conductor. If you have defined what a "good conductor" is, then define resistor, use the proper term, and move on.

    John
     
  6. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    If it glows red and smokes when I connect a power source to it, it is a resistor.

    If the power source glows red and smokes when I connect it, it is a conductor.
     
  7. arthur92710

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jun 25, 2007
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    That solves it!

    I guess in going with poor conductor.

    Thanks for your views.
     
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