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How Electrical Conductivity Varies with Concentration and Temperature

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Lesson Focus

How Electrical Conductivity Varies with Concentration and Temperature


Learning Made Easy

You will identify the relationship between concentration, temperature, and conductivity by observing a change in the conductivity of a solution when the concentration and temperature of the solution are changed.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Explain that as the concentration of salt dissolved in a solution increases at constant temperature, the solution’s electrical conductivity increases.
  • Explain that as the temperature of a solution at constant concentration increases, the electrical conductivity increases.
  • Explain that salt solutions conduct electricity by the movement of positively charged sodium ions to the cathode, and negatively charged chlorine ions to the anode.
  • Explain that an increase in the concentration of salt dissolved in a solution increases the number of ions present in a solution, thereby increasing the electrical conductivity of the solution.
  • Explain that ions move more easily at higher temperatures, and therefore conduct electricity more easily at higher temperatures.

Everything You'll Have Covered

The ability of a substance to conduct electricity depends on a variety of factors. Solids that are ionic do not conduct electricity very well. This is because the positive and negative charges in the solid are balanced due to an exchange of electrons within the solid. When these compounds are dissolved in water, however, the resulting solution can conduct electricity.

As the concentration of ions increases, the ability to conduct electricity also increases. This is due to the increase in positive and negative charges. An increase in ions enables more electron exchange, which in turn creates higher electrical conductivity.

An increase in temperature also gives a solid a higher solubility, which results in a greater number of ions present in the solution. An increase in ions leads to an increase in the conductivity of the solution.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 20 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Learners should know the concepts of concentration and the effects of temperature on solubility. Learners should also know the concepts of electrical conductivity and how electrons are transferred between atoms within a substance.
Course Chemistry
Type of Tutorial Experiment
Key Vocabulary anode, calibration, calibration data