An Experiment to Test the Conductivity of Liquids

Topics: Electrochemistry, Battery, Electron, Electricity, Electric charge, Electric current / Pages: 4 (953 words) / Published: Jul 22nd, 2011
Conductivity of Liquid
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The materials, which allow electric current to pass through them, are good conductors of electricity. On the other hand, materials, which do not allow electric current to pass through them easily, are poor conductors of electricity.
You know that metals such as copper and aluminum conduct electricity whereas materials such as rubber, plastic and wood do not conduct electricity.
Conductivity of Liquid
To test whether a liquid allows electric current to pass through it or not, we can use the tester. When the liquid between the two ends of the tester allows the electric current to pass, the circuit of the tester becomes complete. The current flows in the circuit and the bulb glows. When the liquid does not allow the electric current to pass, the circuit of the tester is not complete and the bulb does not glow.
In some situations even though the liquid is conducting, the bulb may not glow. Due to the heating effect of current, the filament of the bulb gets heated to a high temperature and it starts glowing. However, if the current through a circuit is too weak, the filament does not get heated sufficiently and it does not glow. Though a material may conduct electricity, it may not conduct it as easily as a metal. As a result, the circuit of the tester may be complete and yet the current through it may be too weak to make the bulb glow.
Most liquids that conduct electricity are solutions of acids, bases and salts.
Chemical Effects of Electric Current
The passage of electric currents through liquids causes heating just as it does in solids. More importantly, chemical activity may occur in the liquids around the electrodes. Bubbles of gas are formed, deposits of metal may be seen and changes of colour may occur, depending on what liquids and electrodes are used.

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