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The Difference Between Conductors and Insulators
Letís examine your results from a different point of view by doing another activity.
Start by charging your electroscope with your comb.
With the leaves of the scope spread out, touch the loop with some object. Did the leaves drop?
If they did, the object you used was a conductor; that is, it allows electrons to pass through it. As a result, the charges on the leaves became equal.
Since the scope had a negative charge, the extra electrons on the leaves repelled one another up through the loop and into the conductor. At that point the leaves became neutral and dropped.
But if the object you used didnít make the leaves go down, then that object would have been an insulator; that is, a material that doesnít allow electrons to pass through it easily. In this case, the charges on the leaves would remain there because the insulator neither accepted nor gave up enough electrons to make the leaves neutral.
Keep this in mind regarding some insulators: Even though they always resist the flow of electrons, they do not stop the flow. Some electron movement may occur, depending on the material. Think of these insulators as poor conductors.