Conductivity to Resistivity Calculator

Created by Purnima Singh, PhD
Reviewed by Steven Wooding
Last updated: Feb 02, 2023

Omni's conductivity to resistivity calculator allows you to determine the electrical resistivity of a material, given its conductivity. You can also use this tool to determine the conductivity if the resistivity is known.

Continue reading to learn what electrical resistivity and conductivity are and how to calculate resistivity from conductivity. You will also find an example of using this tool to calculate one if the other is known.

If you are interested in finding out the resistance of a conductor from its resistivity and dimensions, check out the wire resistance calculator.

Electrical resistivity and conductivity

We can define the electrical resistivity of a material as a measure of how strongly the material opposes the flow of electrical current through it. It is represented by the symbol ρ\rho.

Another crucial electrical transport property of materials is electrical conductivity. A material's electrical conductivity is its ability to conduct or transmit electricity. We use the symbol σ\sigma to represent the conductivity.

Both conductivity and resistivity are intrinsic properties of a material, i.e., they do not depend on the dimensions of the material. Instead, they rely on the charge carrier density and temperature of the material.

How to calculate resistivity from conductivity

The electrical conductivity of a material is the reciprocal of its resistivity. Hence, to calculate resistivity from conductivity, we will use the formula:

ρ=1σ\small \rho = \frac{1}{\sigma}

Conductors have high conductivity and low resistivity. On the other hand, insulators have very high resistivity and low conductivity.

For example, the conductivity of silver is 6.29×107 (Ωm)16.29 \times 10^7\ \rm{(\Omega \cdot m)^{-1}}; hence we can calculate its resistivity using the conductivity formula as:

ρ=16.29×107 (Ωm)1=1.59×108 (Ωm)\small \begin{align*} \rho & = \frac{1}{6.29 \times 10^7\ \rm{(\Omega \cdot m)^{-1}}} \\[1em] & = 1.59 \times 10^{-8}\ \rm{(\Omega \cdot m)} \end{align*}

How to use the conductivity to resistivity calculator

Now let us see how we can use the conductivity to resistivity calculator to solve the same problem.

  1. Using the drop-down menu, choose silver as the material.

  2. The electrical conductivity field will auto-populate. You can also enter any custom value of conductivity.

  3. The tool will display the electrical resistivity of silver.

  4. You can also use this tool to convert resistivity to conductivity.

Want to calculate thermal conductivity? Check out the thermal conductivity calculator.


How do I calculate conductivity from resistivity?

Conductivity is the reciprocal of resistivity. Hence to calculate the conductivity of a material from its resistivity, take the reciprocal of the resistivity. If you want to calculate resistivity, take the reciprocal of conductivity.

What are the units of resistivity and conductivity?

The SI unit of resistivity is ohm-meter (Ω·m). Since conductivity = 1 / resistivity, the SI unit of conductivity is (Ω·m)⁻¹, which is also known as siemens per meter (S·m⁻¹).

What is the electrical conductivity of copper?

The electrical resistivity of copper is 1.68 × 10⁻⁸ Ω·m. We can calculate the electrical conductivity of copper as follows:

  1. Take the reciprocal of the electrical resistivity of copper, i.e., 1 / 1.68 × 10⁻⁸ Ω·m.
  2. You will get 5.95 × 10⁷ (Ω·m)⁻¹.
  3. Hence, copper's electrical conductivity is 5.95 × 10⁷ (Ω·m)⁻¹.

A wire of resistivity 10 Ω·m is stretched to twice its original length. What will be its new resistivity?

Its resistivity will remain the same, i.e., 10 Ω·m. The resistivity of a wire depends only on the nature of its material and its temperature and is independent of the length or cross-sectional area. Hence, on stretching the wire, its resistivity will not change.

Purnima Singh, PhD
Choose the material or enter a custom value
Material at 20 °C
Annealed copper
Electrical conductivity (σ)
Electrical resistivity (ρ)
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