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Very high electrical and thermal conductivity is common to the elements in group 11, because their single s electron is free and does not interact with the filled d subshell, as such interactions (which occur in the preceding transition metals) lower electron mobility. The electrical conductivity of silver is the greatest of all metals, greater even than copper, but it is not widely used for this property because of the higher cost. An exception is in radio-frequency engineering, particularly at VHF and higher frequencies where silver plating improves electrical conductivity because those currents tend to flow on the surface of conductors rather than through the interior. During World War II in the US, 13540 tons of silver were used in electromagnets for enriching uranium, mainly because of the wartime shortage of copper. Pure silver has the highest thermal conductivity of any metal, although the conductivity of carbon (in the diamond allotrope) and superfluid helium-4 are even higher. Silver also has the lowest contact resistance of any metal.

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