# Conductivity vs. Conductance: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 27, 2024
Conductivity is a material's ability to conduct electricity, measured in Siemens per meter (S/m), while conductance is the measure of how easily electricity flows through a specific component, measured in Siemens (S).

## Key Differences

Conductivity refers to a material's inherent ability to allow the flow of electric current, dependent on its composition. In contrast, conductance is a specific measure of how easily electricity passes through a particular object or component.
The unit of conductivity is Siemens per meter (S/m), indicating how well a material of a given size conducts electricity. Conductance is measured in Siemens (S), relating to the ease of current flow through a particular conductor.
High conductivity materials, like copper, facilitate the flow of electric current across any length. Conductance, however, is more specific to an object's dimensions and is affected by its length and cross-sectional area.
Conductivity is a property of a material, such as the conductivity of water indicating its impurity levels. Conductance focuses on a circuit element, for example, the conductance of a wire in an electrical circuit.
Conductivity is crucial in materials science for classifying materials as conductors, insulators, or semiconductors. Conductance is a practical measure in electrical engineering for designing and analyzing circuits.

## Comparison Chart

### Definition

Ability of a material to conduct electricity
Measure of how easily electricity flows through a specific component

### Unit of Measurement

Siemens per meter (S/m)
Siemens (S)

### Dependent Factors

Material composition and structure
Object's dimensions and material

### Application Scope

Materials science, classification of materials
Electrical engineering, circuit analysis

### Significance

Indicates material's electrical properties
Indicates electrical ease of a specific object

## Conductivity and Conductance Definitions

#### Conductivity

The degree to which a material can conduct electricity.
The high conductivity of copper makes it ideal for electrical wiring.

#### Conductance

The ability of a specific electrical element to carry an electric current.
Low conductance in a cable can lead to energy loss.

#### Conductivity

A characteristic of materials that indicates how well they conduct electricity.
Aluminum is used in power lines due to its good conductivity.

#### Conductance

The electrical property describing how well a component conducts electricity.
A resistor's conductance is inversely related to its resistance.

#### Conductivity

A measure of a material's ability to allow the passage of electric current.
Water's conductivity increases with the addition of salts.

#### Conductance

A quantification of the ease of electric current flow through a particular object.
The conductance of a circuit element affects the overall current flow.

#### Conductivity

A property of materials that quantifies their electrical conduction capability.
Silicon's conductivity is key in semiconductor technology.

#### Conductance

The measure of how easily electricity flows through a specific component.
The conductance of this wire is high, allowing efficient current flow.

#### Conductivity

The inherent electrical property of materials to carry current.
The conductivity of a material determines its use in electronics.

#### Conductance

The measure of electrical flow capability of a particular conductor.
The conductance of a semiconductor device is critical in circuit design.

#### Conductivity

The ability or power to conduct or transmit energy (such as heat, electricity, or sound) or a substance (such as electrons or ions).

#### Conductance

Symbol G A measure of a material's ability to conduct electric charge; the reciprocal of the resistance.

#### Conductivity

The conductance of a material.

#### Conductance

Thermal conductance.

#### Conductivity

(Physiology) The conductibility of a structure, especially the ability of a nerve to transmit a wave of excitation.

#### Conductance

(physics) A measure of the ability of a body to conduct electricity; the reciprocal of its resistance.

#### Conductivity

The ability of a material to conduct electricity, heat, fluid or sound

#### Conductance

Conducting power; - the reciprocal of resistance. A suggested unit is the mho, the reciprocal of the ohm.
Conductance is an attribute of any specified conductor, and refers to its shape, length, and other factors. Conductivity is an attribute of any specified material without direct reference to its shape or other factors.

#### Conductivity

(physics) The reciprocal of resistivity

#### Conductance

A material's capacity to conduct electricity; measured as the reciprocal of electrical resistance

#### Conductivity

The quality or power of conducting, or of receiving and transmitting, as heat, electricity, etc.; as, the conductivity of a nerve.

#### Conductivity

The transmission of heat or electricity or sound

## FAQs

#### How is conductivity expressed?

In Siemens per meter (S/m).

#### Can conductance help in circuit analysis?

Yes, it's vital for understanding circuits.

In Siemens (S).

#### What does conductance measure?

Ease of electricity flow through a component.

#### Can conductivity change with temperature?

Yes, it often varies with temperature.

#### What does conductivity measure?

A material's ability to conduct electricity.

#### Are metals typically high in conductivity?

Yes, most metals have high conductivity.

#### What factors affect conductivity?

Material type, temperature, and impurities.

#### Can liquids have conductivity?

Yes, especially electrolyte solutions.

#### Can conductivity be zero?

In perfect insulators, practically yes.

#### Can conductance be increased?

Yes, by changing material or dimensions.

#### Do superconductors have infinite conductivity?

Theoretically, they have extremely high conductivity.

#### Does conductance depend on object size?

Yes, it's influenced by size and shape.

#### Is high conductivity always desirable?

Depends on the application; not always.

#### Does high conductance mean low resistance?

Yes, they are inversely related.

#### Is conductance a property of insulators?

No, insulators have very low conductance.

#### Is conductivity important in semiconductors?

Yes, it's crucial for their function.

#### How does conductance relate to current flow?

Higher conductance means easier current flow.

#### What factors affect conductance?

Material, dimensions, and temperature.

#### Is conductance important in resistors?

Yes, it determines how much they impede current.