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  • Explain the origin of Ohm’s law.
  • Calculate voltages, currents, or resistances with Ohm’s law.
  • Explain what an ohmic material is.
  • Describe a simple circuit.

What drives current? We can think of various devices—such as batteries, generators, wall outlets, and so on—which are necessary to maintain a current. All such devices create a potential difference and are loosely referred to as voltage sources. When a voltage source is connected to a conductor, it applies a potential difference V size 12{V} {} that creates an electric field. The electric field in turn exerts force on charges, causing current.

Ohm’s law

The current that flows through most substances is directly proportional to the voltage V size 12{V} {} applied to it. The German physicist Georg Simon Ohm (1787–1854) was the first to demonstrate experimentally that the current in a metal wire is directly proportional to the voltage applied :

I V . size 12{I prop V.} {}

This important relationship is known as Ohm’s law    . It can be viewed as a cause-and-effect relationship, with voltage the cause and current the effect. This is an empirical law like that for friction—an experimentally observed phenomenon. Such a linear relationship doesn’t always occur.

Resistance and simple circuits

If voltage drives current, what impedes it? The electric property that impedes current (crudely similar to friction and air resistance) is called resistance     R size 12{R} {} . Collisions of moving charges with atoms and molecules in a substance transfer energy to the substance and limit current. Resistance is defined as inversely proportional to current, or

I 1 R . size 12{I prop { {1} over {R} } "."} {}

Thus, for example, current is cut in half if resistance doubles. Combining the relationships of current to voltage and current to resistance gives

I = V R . size 12{I = { {V} over {R} } "."} {}

This relationship is also called Ohm’s law. Ohm’s law in this form really defines resistance for certain materials. Ohm’s law (like Hooke’s law) is not universally valid. The many substances for which Ohm’s law holds are called ohmic    . These include good conductors like copper and aluminum, and some poor conductors under certain circumstances. Ohmic materials have a resistance R size 12{R} {} that is independent of voltage V size 12{V} {} and current I size 12{I} {} . An object that has simple resistance is called a resistor , even if its resistance is small. The unit for resistance is an ohm    and is given the symbol Ω size 12{ %OMEGA } {} (upper case Greek omega). Rearranging I = V/R size 12{I = ital "V/R"} {} gives R = V/I size 12{R= ital "V/I"} {} , and so the units of resistance are 1 ohm = 1 volt per ampere:

1 Ω = 1 V A . size 12{"1 " %OMEGA =" 1 " { {V} over {A} } "."} {}

[link] shows the schematic for a simple circuit. A simple circuit    has a single voltage source and a single resistor. The wires connecting the voltage source to the resistor can be assumed to have negligible resistance, or their resistance can be included in R size 12{R} {} .

The figure describes a simple electric circuit with a battery connected to a resistance R. The direction of current is shown to emerge from the positive terminal of a battery of voltage V, pass through the resistor, and enter the negative terminal of the battery. The current I in the circuit is V divided by R, moving in a clockwise direction.
A simple electric circuit in which a closed path for current to flow is supplied by conductors (usually metal wires) connecting a load to the terminals of a battery, represented by the red parallel lines. The zigzag symbol represents the single resistor and includes any resistance in the connections to the voltage source.

Calculating resistance: an automobile headlight

What is the resistance of an automobile headlight through which 2.50 A flows when 12.0 V is applied to it?

Strategy

We can rearrange Ohm’s law as stated by I = V/R size 12{I = ital "V/R"} {} and use it to find the resistance.

Solution

Rearranging I = V/R size 12{I = ital "V/R"} {} and substituting known values gives

R = V I = 12 . 0 V 2 . 50 A = 4 . 80 Ω . size 12{R = { {V} over {I} } = { {"12" "." "0 V"} over {2 "." "50 A"} } =" 4" "." "80 " %OMEGA "."} {}

Discussion

This is a relatively small resistance, but it is larger than the cold resistance of the headlight. As we shall see in Resistance and Resistivity , resistance usually increases with temperature, and so the bulb has a lower resistance when it is first switched on and will draw considerably more current during its brief warm-up period.

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Questions & Answers

Suppose that a grandfather clock is running slowly; that is, the time it takes to complete each cycle is longer than it should be. Should you (@) shorten or (b) lengthen the pendulam to make the clock keep attain the preferred time?
Aj Reply
I think you shorten am not sure
Uche
shorten it, since that is practice able using the simple pendulum as experiment
Silvia
it'll always give the results needed no need to adjust the length, it is always measured by the starting time and ending time by the clock
Paul
it's not in relation to other clocks
Paul
wat is d formular for newton's third principle
Silvia
okay
Silvia
discuss under damped
Prince Reply
resistance of thermometer in relation to temperature
Ifeanyi Reply
how
Bernard
that resistance is not measured yet, it may be probably in the next generation of scientists
Paul
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Anderson
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Paul
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John Reply
Sure
Gift
What is Boyce law
Sly Reply
how to convert meter per second to kilometers per hour
grace Reply
Divide with 3.6
Mateo
multiply by (km/1000m) x (3600 s/h) -> 3.6
Muhammad
2 how heat loss is prevented in a vacuum flask
Abdullah Reply
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Helen
logical reasoning for a particular phenomenon.
Ajay
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Adarsh
due to non in contact mean no conduction and no convection bec of non conducting base and walls and also their is a grape between the layer like to take the example of thermo flask
Abdul
dimensions v²=u²+2at
Lagben Reply
what if time is not given in finding the average velocity?
Alan Reply
the magnetic circuit of a certain of the flux paths in each of the long and short sides being 25cm and 20cm reprectielectrove. there is an air gap of 2mm long in one the long sides if a flux density of 0.8weber/m is to produce in the magnet of 1500 turns..
Daniel Reply
How do you calculate precision
Sacky Reply
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Fillemon
Chemisty 1A?
Fillemon
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Sacky
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Fillemon
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Sacky
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Anderson
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Emi
There are very large numbers of charged particles in most objects. Why, then, don’t most objects exhibit static electricity?
Bilkisu Reply
Because there's an equal number of negative and positive charges... objects are neutral in nature
NELSON
when a ball rolls on a smooth level ground,the motion of its centre is?
Mary Reply
what is electro magnetic field?
Mary
electromagnetic field is a special type of field been produced by electric charges..!!! like the word electro from Electricity and the word magnetic from Magnetism.. so it is more of a join field..!!!
NELSON
Electromagnetic field is caused by moving electric charge
Muhammad
when a ball rolls on a smooth level ground,the motion of its centre is?
Mumeh
Practice Key Terms 5

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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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