Difference Wiki

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


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


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

Conductivity and Conductance Definitions


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


The conductance of a material.


Thermal conductance.


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


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


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


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.


(physics) The reciprocal of resistivity


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


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


The transmission of heat or electricity or sound


How is conductivity expressed?

In Siemens per meter (S/m).

Can conductance help in circuit analysis?

Yes, it's vital for understanding circuits.

How is conductance expressed?

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.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons