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Do gases conduct electricity?

Do gases conduct electricity?

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Asked by G. Horace on Jul 26, 2018

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2 Answers

L. Hawkes

L. Hawkes
Teacher, Memphis

Answered on Aug 08, 2018

Technically speaking, all materials conduct electricity. However, gases conduct electricity so poorly that they are considered insulators. Gases do such a poor job at conducting electricity because their electrons are so far apart that they cannot disperse any current.

The exception to this is the noble gases. These gases consist of helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon. This is only true when they are being used at a low pressure and high voltage.

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C. Kenway

C. Kenway
Content Writer, Jacksonville

Answered on Aug 01, 2018

Gases are known to direct electricity at lower pressures, as seen in specific experiments. Gases commonly conduct electricity when the gases are ionized, forming the plasma. In this ionized form, gases conduct electricity quite well, as seen in nature in the way of lightning. An example of gases conducting electricity is a thunderstorm. Electricity is just electrons flowing through a path.

Once there is a high difference in potential between the two surfaces, the electric charge will create a path and flow. Depending upon several factors, the discharge may radiate visible light. The properties of electric discharges in gases are studies in connection with the design of lighting sources and the objective of high voltage electrical equipment.

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