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The resistance of a circuit element can be thought of as how much it opposes the flow of electric current in the circuit.


The resistance of a conductor is defined as the potential difference across it divided by the current flowing though it. We use the symbol R to show resistance and it is measured in units called Ohms with the symbol Ω .

1 Ohm = 1 Volt Ampere .

What causes resistance?

We have spoken about resistors that reduce the flow of charge in a conductor. On a microscopic level, electrons moving throughthe conductor collide with the particles of which the conductor (metal) is made. When they collide, they transfer kinetic energy.The electrons lose kinetic energy and slow down. This leads to resistance. The transferred energy causes the resistor to heat up.You can feel this directly if you touch a cellphone charger when you are charging a cell phone - the charger gets warm because its circuits have some resistors in them!

All conductors have some resistance. For example, a piece of wire has less resistance than a light bulb, but both have resistance. A lightbulb is a very thin wire surrounded by a glass housing The high resistance of the filament (small wire) in a lightbulb causes the electrons totransfer a lot of their kinetic energy in the form of heat Flourescent lightbulbs do not use thin wires; they use the fact that certain gases glow when a current flows through them. They are much more efficient (much less resistance) than lightbulbs. . The heat energy is enough to cause the filament to glow white-hot which produces light. The wiresconnecting the lamp to the cell or battery hardly even get warm while conducting the same amount of current. This is because of theirmuch lower resistance due to their larger cross-section (they are thicker).

An important effect of a resistor is that it converts electrical energy into heat energy. Light is a by-product of the heat that is produced.

Interesting fact

There is a special type of conductor, called a superconductor that has no resistance, but the materials that make up all known superconductors only start superconductingat very low temperatures (approximately -170 C).

Why do batteries go flat?

A battery stores chemical potential energy. When it is connected in a circuit, a chemical reaction takes place inside the battery which converts chemical potential energy to electrical energy which powers the charges (electrons) to move through the circuit. All the circuit elements (such as the conducting leads, resistors and lightbulbs) have some resistance to the flow of charge and convert the electrical energy to heat and, in the case of the lightbulb, heat and light. Since energy is always conserved, the battery goes flat when all its chemical potential energy has been converted into other forms of energy.

Resistors in electric circuits

It is important to understand what effect adding resistors to a circuit has on the total resistance of a circuit and on the current that can flow in the circuit.

Resistors in series

When we add resistors in series to a circuit, we increase the resistance to the flow of current. There is only one path along which the current can flow and the current is the same at all places in the series circuit. Take a look at the diagram below: On the left there is a circuit with a single resistor and a battery. No matter where we measure the current, it is the same in a series circuit. On the right, we have added a second resistor in series to the circuit. The total resistance of the circuit has increased and you can see from the reading on the ammeter that the current in the circuit has decreased and is still the same everywhere in the circuit.

Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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The fundamental frequency of a sonometer wire streached by a load of relative density 's'are n¹ and n² when the load is in air and completly immersed in water respectively then the lation n²/na is
Mukesh Reply
Properties of longitudinal waves
Sharoon Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 10 physical science [caps]. OpenStax CNX. Sep 30, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11305/1.7
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