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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

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
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.
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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