Question

# Metal which is the best conductor of electricity. a.) Nickel b.) Silver c.) Gold d.) Sodium

Hint: The metals are said to be good conductors of electricity if they allow electricity or electrons to be precise to flow through them easily. The property of conductors which allows them to conduct electricity is called conductivity. Such materials offer less opposition or resistance to the flow of charges.

For a material to be a good conductor, the electricity passed through it must be able to move the electrons the metal possesses, the freer the electrons are in a metal, the greater will be its conductivity.

Among the given elements silver and gold have a maximum number of electrons. Silver is the best conductor of electricity because it contains a higher number of movable atoms (free electrons) owing to the fact that gold has a preceding f-orbital from the actinide series. These f-orbitals are very densely packed and are nearer to nucleus compared to even d-orbitals (silver, transitional metals) and they tend to hold back the electrons restricting the easy flow of current through them.Thus the valence shells and crystal structure of silver makes it the best conductor of electricity.
Also, the correct order of the conductivity in the given elements is given below: $Silver>Gold>Nickel>Sodium$
So, the correct answer is “Option B”.

Note: Even though silver is the best conductor of electricity, there are two reason why silver is not used very frequently over other conductors: 1) it is a very precious metal and thus has a high price for the amount of material used and 2) It corrodes or oxidizes easily as it has good affinity towards oxygen. Copper is hence, $(Cu)$ is commonly used when oxidation is not a major issue, such as home wiring and in most electric motors.