By now you should be well aware of the
correlation between electrical conductivity and certain
types of materials. Those materials allowing for easy
passage of free electrons are called conductors,
while those materials impeding the passage of free electrons
are called insulators.
Unfortunately, the scientific theories
explaining why certain materials conduct and others don't
are quite complex, rooted in quantum mechanical explanations
in how electrons are arranged around the nuclei of atoms.
Contrary to the well-known "planetary" model of electrons
whirling around an atom's nucleus as well-defined chunks of
matter in circular or elliptical orbits, electrons in
"orbit" don't really act like pieces of matter at all.
Rather, they exhibit the characteristics of both particle
and wave, their behavior constrained by placement within
distinct zones around the nucleus referred to as "shells"
and "subshells." Electrons can occupy these zones only in a
limited range of energies depending on the particular zone
and how occupied that zone is with other electrons. If
electrons really did act like tiny planets held in orbit
around the nucleus by electrostatic attraction, their
actions described by the same laws describing the motions of
real planets, there could be no real distinction between
conductors and insulators, and chemical bonds between atoms
would not exist in the way they do now. It is the discrete,
"quantitized" nature of electron energy and placement
described by quantum physics that gives these phenomena