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  • Explain the concept of resistivity.
  • Use resistivity to calculate the resistance of specified configurations of material.
  • Use the thermal coefficient of resistivity to calculate the change of resistance with temperature.

Material and shape dependence of resistance

The resistance of an object depends on its shape and the material of which it is composed. The cylindrical resistor in [link] is easy to analyze, and, by so doing, we can gain insight into the resistance of more complicated shapes. As you might expect, the cylinder’s electric resistance R size 12{R} {} is directly proportional to its length L size 12{L} {} , similar to the resistance of a pipe to fluid flow. The longer the cylinder, the more collisions charges will make with its atoms. The greater the diameter of the cylinder, the more current it can carry (again similar to the flow of fluid through a pipe). In fact, R size 12{R} {} is inversely proportional to the cylinder’s cross-sectional area A size 12{A} {} .

A cylindrical conductor of length L and cross section A is shown. The resistivity of the cylindrical section is represented as rho. The resistance of this cross section R is equal to rho L divided by A. The section of length L of cylindrical conductor is shown equivalent to a resistor represented by symbol R.
A uniform cylinder of length L size 12{L} {} and cross-sectional area A size 12{A} {} . Its resistance to the flow of current is similar to the resistance posed by a pipe to fluid flow. The longer the cylinder, the greater its resistance. The larger its cross-sectional area A size 12{A} {} , the smaller its resistance.

For a given shape, the resistance depends on the material of which the object is composed. Different materials offer different resistance to the flow of charge. We define the resistivity     ρ size 12{ρ} {} of a substance so that the resistance R size 12{R} {} of an object is directly proportional to ρ size 12{ρ} {} . Resistivity ρ size 12{ρ} {} is an intrinsic property of a material, independent of its shape or size. The resistance R size 12{R} {} of a uniform cylinder of length L size 12{L} {} , of cross-sectional area A size 12{A} {} , and made of a material with resistivity ρ size 12{ρ} {} , is

R = ρL A . size 12{R = { {ρL} over {A} } "."} {}

[link] gives representative values of ρ size 12{ρ} {} . The materials listed in the table are separated into categories of conductors, semiconductors, and insulators, based on broad groupings of resistivities. Conductors have the smallest resistivities, and insulators have the largest; semiconductors have intermediate resistivities. Conductors have varying but large free charge densities, whereas most charges in insulators are bound to atoms and are not free to move. Semiconductors are intermediate, having far fewer free charges than conductors, but having properties that make the number of free charges depend strongly on the type and amount of impurities in the semiconductor. These unique properties of semiconductors are put to use in modern electronics, as will be explored in later chapters.

Resistivities ρ size 12{ρ} {} Of various materials at 20º C
Material Resistivity ρ size 12{ρ} {} ( Ω m size 12{ %OMEGA cdot m} {} )
Conductors
Silver 1 . 59 × 10 8 size 12{1 "." "59" times "10" rSup { size 8{ - 8} } } {}
Copper 1 . 72 × 10 8 size 12{1 "." "72" times "10" rSup { size 8{ - 8} } } {}
Gold 2 . 44 × 10 8 size 12{2 "." "44" times "10" rSup { size 8{ - 8} } } {}
Aluminum 2 . 65 × 10 8 size 12{2 "." "65" times "10" rSup { size 8{ - 8} } } {}
Tungsten 5 . 6 × 10 8 size 12{5 "." 6 times "10" rSup { size 8{ - 8} } } {}
Iron 9 . 71 × 10 8 size 12{9 "." "71" times "10" rSup { size 8{ - 8} } } {}
Platinum 10 . 6 × 10 8 size 12{"10" "." 6 times "10" rSup { size 8{ - 8} } } {}
Steel 20 × 10 8 size 12{"20" times "10" rSup { size 8{ - 8} } } {}
Lead 22 × 10 8 size 12{"22" times "10" rSup { size 8{ - 8} } } {}
Manganin (Cu, Mn, Ni alloy) 44 × 10 8 size 12{"44" times "10" rSup { size 8{ - 8} } } {}
Constantan (Cu, Ni alloy) 49 × 10 8 size 12{"49" times "10" rSup { size 8{ - 8} } } {}
Mercury 96 × 10 8 size 12{"96" times "10" rSup { size 8{ - 8} } } {}
Nichrome (Ni, Fe, Cr alloy) 100 × 10 8 size 12{"100" times "10" rSup { size 8{ - 8} } } {}
Semiconductors Values depend strongly on amounts and types of impurities
Carbon (pure) 3.5 × 10 5
Carbon ( 3.5 60 ) × 10 5
Germanium (pure) 600 × 10 3
Germanium ( 1 600 ) × 10 3 size 12{ \( 1 - "600" \) times "10" rSup { size 8{ - 3} } } {}
Silicon (pure) 2300
Silicon 0.1–2300
Insulators
Amber 5 × 10 14 size 12{5 times "10" rSup { size 8{"14"} } } {}
Glass 10 9 10 14 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{9} } - "10" rSup { size 8{"14"} } } {}
Lucite >10 13 size 12{>"10" rSup { size 8{"13"} } } {}
Mica 10 11 10 15 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"11"} } - "10" rSup { size 8{"15"} } } {}
Quartz (fused) 75 × 10 16 size 12{"75" times "10" rSup { size 8{"16"} } } {}
Rubber (hard) 10 13 10 16 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"13"} } - "10" rSup { size 8{"16"} } } {}
Sulfur 10 15 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"15"} } } {}
Teflon >10 13 size 12{>"10" rSup { size 8{"13"} } } {}
Wood 10 8 10 11 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{8} } - "10" rSup { size 8{"11"} } } {}

Questions & Answers

what is velocity
Fati Reply
displacement per unit time
Murlidhar
the ratec of displacement over time
Jamie
the rate of displacement over time
Jamie
the rate of displacement over time
Jamie
did you need it right now
Pathani
up to tomorrow
Santosh
i need a description and derivation of kinetic theory of gas
Santosh
pls the sum of change in kinetic and potential energy is always what ?
Faith
i need a description and derivation of kinetic theory of gas
Santosh
did you need it right now
Pathani
A few grains of table salt were put in a cup of cold water kept at constant temperature and left undisturbed. eventually all the water tasted salty. this is due to?
Faith Reply
Aunt Faith,please i am thinking the dissolution here from the word "solution" exposed the grains of salt to be dissolved in the water.Thankyou
Junior
dissolution please
Junior
Aunt Faith,please i am thinking the dissolution here from the word "solution" exposed the grains of salt to be dissolved in the water.Thankyou
Junior
it is either diffusion or osmosis. just confused
Faith
due to solvation....
Pathani
what is solvation pls
Faith
water molecule surround the salt molecules . solute solute attraction break in the same manner solvent solvent interaction also break. as a result solute and solvent attraction took place.
Pathani
okay thanks
Faith
my pleasure
Pathani
what is solvation pls
Faith
water act as a solvent and salt act as solute
Pathani
okay thanks
Faith
its ok
Pathani
due to solvation....
Pathani
water molecule surround the salt molecules . solute solute attraction break in the same manner solvent solvent interaction also break. as a result solute and solvent attraction took place.
Pathani
what is magnetism
Eze Reply
physical phenomena arising from force caused by magnets
Mohammad
is the phenomenon of attracting magnetic substance like iron, cobalt etc.
Faith
what is heat
John Reply
Heat is a form of energy where molecules move
saran
Can you please help me with some questions
Janet Reply
topic-- question
Salman
I know this is unrelated to physics, but how do I get the MCQs and essay to work. they arent clickable.
Jake Reply
20cm3 of 1mol/dm3 solution of a monobasic acid HA and 20cm3 of 1mol/dm3 solution of NaOH are mixed in a calorimeter and a temperature rise of 274K is observed. If the heat capacity of the calorimeter is 160J/K, calculate the enthalpy of neutralization of the acid.(SHCw=4.2J/g/K) Formula. (ms*cs+C)*T
Lilian Reply
why is a body moving at a constant speed able to accelerate
Lilian Reply
20cm3 of 1mol/dm3 solution of a monobasic acid HA and 20cm3 of 1mol/dm3 solution of NaOH are mixed in a calorimeter and a temperature rise of 274K is observed. If the heat capacity of the calorimeter is 160J/K, calculate the enthalpy of neutralization of the acid.(SHCw=4.2J/g/K) Formula. (ms*cs+C)*T
Lilian
because it changes only direction and the speed is kept constant
Justice
Why is the sky blue...?
Star Reply
It's filtered light from the 2 forms of radiation emitted from the sun. It's mainly filtered UV rays. There's a theory titled Scatter Theory that covers this topic
Mike
A heating coil of resistance 30π is connected to a 240v supply for 5min to boil a quantity of water in a vessel of heat capacity 200jk. If the initial temperature of water is 20°c and it specific heat capacity is 4200jkgk calculate the mass of water in a vessel
fasawe Reply
A thin equi convex lens is placed on a horizontal plane mirror and a pin held 20 cm vertically above the lens concise in position with its own image the space between the undersurface of d lens and the mirror is filled with water (refractive index =1•33)and then to concise with d image d pin has to
Azummiri Reply
Be raised until its distance from d lens is 27cm find d radius of curvature
Azummiri
what happens when a nuclear bomb and atom bomb bomb explode add the same time near each other
FlAsH Reply
A monkey throws a coconut straight upwards from a coconut tree with a velocity of 10 ms-1. The coconut tree is 30 m high. Calculate the maximum height of the coconut from the top of the coconut tree? Can someone answer my question
Fatinizzah Reply
v2 =u2 - 2gh 02 =10x10 - 2x9.8xh h = 100 ÷ 19.6 answer = 30 - h.
Ramonyai
why is the north side is always referring to n side of magnetic
sam Reply
who is a nurse
Chilekwa Reply
A nurse is a person who takes care of the sick
Bukola
a nurse is also like an assistant to the doctor
Gadjawa
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smart Reply
Practice Key Terms 2

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
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