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Questions tagged [electrical-resistance]

The tag applies to electrical resistance and resistors. DO NOT USE THIS TAG for non-electrical resistance.

93
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2answers
64k views

On this infinite grid of resistors, what's the equivalent resistance?

I searched and couldn't find it on the site, so here it is (quoted to the letter): On this infinite grid of ideal one-ohm resistors, what's the equivalent resistance between the two marked nodes? ...
67
votes
13answers
14k views

Why doesn't current pass through a resistance if there is another path without resistance?

Why doesn't current pass through a resistance if there is another path without resistance? How does it know there is resistance on that path ?
44
votes
13answers
9k views

What *exactly* is electrical current, voltage, and resistance?

I am taking AP Physics right now (I'm a high school student) and we are learning about circuits, current, resistance, voltage, Ohm's Law, etc. I am looking for exact definitions of what current, ...
43
votes
3answers
35k views

Why do we use AC for long distance transmission?

Why do we use AC (Alternating Current) for long distance transmission of electrical power? I know that AC is such a current that changes polarity (magnitude and direction) and has fixed poles.
40
votes
3answers
12k views

Will the volt, ampere, ohm or other electrical units change on May 20th, 2019? [duplicate]

When watching a video by Veritasium about the SI units redefinition (5:29), a claim that the volt and unit of resistance (presumably the ohm) will change by about 1 part in 10 million caught my ...
37
votes
5answers
21k views

If the Earth is a good conductor of electricity, why don't people get electrocuted every time they touch the Earth?

Since the Earth is a good conductor of electricity, is it safe to assume that any charge that flows down to the Earth must be redistributed into the Earth in and along all directions? Does this also ...
36
votes
15answers
96k views

I don't understand what we really mean by voltage drop

This post is my best effort to seek assistance on a topic which is quite vague to me, so that I am struggling to formulate my questions. I hope that someone will be able to figure out what it is I'm ...
34
votes
5answers
3k views

Reversed First Joule's Law : heating a resistor produce voltage?

I was discussing about the theory that claims that "every emitter also behaves like a receptor": Are emitters always receptors? I was brilliantly told that this theory would be false for fluorescent ...
29
votes
6answers
6k views

Could someone intuitively explain to me Ohm's law?

Could someone intuitively explain to me Ohm's law? I understand what voltage is and how it is the electric potential energy and that it is the integral of the electric field strength etc. I also ...
28
votes
10answers
72k views

Electricity takes the path of least resistance?

Electricity takes the path of least resistance! Is this statement correct? If so, why is it the case? If there are two paths available, and one, for example, has a resistor, why would the current ...
25
votes
2answers
7k views

Resistance between any 2 nodes on an infinite square grid

This question is motivated by this xkcd comic strip . The problem is indeed interesting, and my first recollection upon reading this was a similar problem in the book Problems in General Physics by I....
23
votes
6answers
7k views

Does Ohm's law hold in space?

My current understanding is this: When current passes through a resistor heat is generated which the resistor then gives off to the surrounding air. That way the resistor is kept at roughly the same ...
23
votes
5answers
21k views

What's the physical meaning of the imaginary component of impedance?

As you know, impedance is defined as a complex number. Ideal capacitors: $$ \frac {1} {j \omega C} \hspace{0.5 pc} \mathrm{or} \hspace{0.5 pc} \frac {1} {sC} $$ Ideal inductors: $$ j \omega L \...
22
votes
6answers
17k views

How can Ohm's law be correct if superconductors have 0 resistivity?

Ohm's law states that the relationship between current ( I ) voltage ( V ) and resistance ( R ) is $$I = \frac{V}{R}$$ However superconductors cause the resistance of a material to go to zero, and ...
20
votes
7answers
7k views

Is everything a resistor?

Resistance is due to collision with protons, and pretty much everything contains protons. So technically is everything a resistor? (Or at least, can anything be a resistor?)
20
votes
3answers
9k views

Can a superconducting wire conduct unlimited current?

A superconducting wire has no electrical resistance and as such it does not heat up when current passes through it. Non-superconducting wires can be damaged by too much current, because they get too ...
20
votes
3answers
6k views

How is silver a better conductor than platinum?

Based on my understanding, platinum should be a better conductor than silver. Here's my reasoning and assumptions. An atom's ability to conduct is based on the amount of energy required to displace ...
19
votes
6answers
8k views

How do electrons “know” to share their voltage between two resistors?

My physics teacher explained the difference between voltage and current using sandwiches. Each person gets a bag full of sandwiches when they pass through the battery. Current = the number of people ...
17
votes
3answers
8k views

What happens to the resistance of a wire if it is heated up?

We had a little discussion in the physics class. We were talking about resistance, and she said that when a wire is heated up, the resistance also increases; but I think that the resistance decreases ...
17
votes
4answers
12k views

Why does vacuum have a nonzero characteristic impedance towards electromagnetic radiation?

On Wikipedia, the impedance of free space $Z_0$ is defined as square root of the ratio of the permeability of free space $\mu_0$ to the permittivity of free space $\epsilon_0$, i.e. $$Z_0 = \sqrt{\...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do Fermi liquids have $T^2$ resistivity?

I have often read that metals that are Fermi liquids should have a resistivity that varies with temperature like $\rho(T) = \rho(0) + a T^2 $. I guess the $T^2$ part is the resistance due to electron-...
15
votes
6answers
71k views

Will current pass without any resistance?

I've learned that a resistor converts some electrical energy into heat energy while the current flows through it and thus causes a power loss, but what if there's not any resistor in a circuit. Will ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Are insulators and conductors arbitrary categories?

I have seen charts showing the transition from insulator to semi-conductor is at $10^{-8}~\frac{\text{S}}{\text{cm}}$ and between semi-conductor and conductor is $10^{3}~\frac{\text{S}}{\text{cm}}$. ...
14
votes
4answers
6k views

Symmetry in resistor circuits

Given 6 points that are connected with each other with a resistor of resistance $R$, find the resistance between any two points. (Answer: $R/3$) (All the conducting wires have the same resistance $...
13
votes
5answers
16k views

How can one derive the Ohm's Law?

I am looking for the derivation of the Ohm's Law i.e., V is directly proportional to I. Can someone help me with it?
13
votes
6answers
39k views

How to measure resistance of a piece of wire?

My son is doing a science experiment on how varying temperature and diameter of wire impacts the resistance. We are assuming we can accomplish this by using different gauge wires, a home thermometer, ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

What's the reason behind the current remaining the same after passing by a resistance?

I've been wondering why does this really happen, I mean by intuition if electrons are driven by EMF (ignoring wire's resistance), $n$ coulombs would pass by a point per second, until they encounter ...
13
votes
5answers
11k views

Is current in superconductors infinite? If they have 0 resistance then I (V/R) should be infinite? [duplicate]

I learned many years ago that according to Ohm's law, current is equal to voltage divided by resistance. Now if superconductors have zero resistance then the current should be infinite. Moreover the ...
12
votes
6answers
19k views

Why is current the same in a series circuit?

So I am a 10th grade student and my teacher told me that the current is the same at every point in a series circuit. It does split up in parallel circuit but it then recombines and the current flowing ...
12
votes
3answers
12k views

Is it possible to mathematically derive the formula for resistance?

Resistance is given by $\rho L/A$, where $\rho$ is the material constant, $L$ is the length, and $A$ is the area. Is there any way that this can be derived mathematically, or is the only way ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do superconductors conduct electricity without resistance?

Many authors have suggested that persistent currents in superconducting rings arise from the energy gap in the single-particle spectrum. Indeed, the argument has been put forward many times on this ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Resistance between two points in an infinite metal sphere/cube

Let's imagine that we have a tridimensional metal object of infinite size, and decide to calculate the resistance between two arbitrary points. How would we go about doing this? I have thought of two ...
10
votes
5answers
19k views

Resistor circuit that isn't parallel or series

What's the equivalent resistance in this circuit (between points A and B)?
10
votes
5answers
27k views

Detecting if resistances are parallel or series in complex circuits

I know how to detect when resistors are arranged in parallel or series arrangement and I can also find their equivalent resistance in simple circuits or when resistances are connected in form of ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is the impedance of a resistor the same in time and frequency domains if the Laplace transform of a constant is not the same constant?

I'm sure this is a silly question, but if the Laplace transform of a constant is not a constant, e.g. $$\mathfrak{L}[1] = \frac{1}{s}$$ then how come the impedance of a resistor is the same in the ...
10
votes
3answers
815 views

Is a superconductor really a super conductor?

It is known that a superconductor is a material with electrical resistance zero. My question is, it is exactly zero, a theoretical zero, or for practical realistic reasons it is effectively zero?
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Do electrons move around a circuit?

We could imagine a simple electronic circuit composed by a power source and a resistor. It is usual find descriptions as "The moving charged particles in an electric current are called charge ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

How does electricity 'decide' on it's pathway? [duplicate]

I'm struggling to understand the fundamental concepts of electricity, more specifically, the way in which it 'chooses' its optimal pathway. I appreciate electricity will always choose the path of ...
10
votes
4answers
8k views

Why does a Resistor cause a potential drop?

I need to know the underlying physics of what exactly happens different with the electric field in the resistor than in superconducting wires. Why is it that when I connect a resistor, potential ...
10
votes
6answers
21k views

What would be the effective resistance of the ladder of resistors having n steps

I'm a tutor. This is a high school level problem. In high school, every one have might have solved a problem of effective resistance of a ladder of resistors having infinite steps. Now the problem is ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

Derivation of Ohm's Law

Is it possible to derive Ohm's law (perhaps in some appropriate limit) from Maxwell's Equations?
10
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I deal with “crossing resistances”? [closed]

I'm doing some physics homework calculating the total resistance between points A and B and while some circuits are comprehensible, there are two that I can't understand how they work at all. So, it ...
10
votes
3answers
75k views

Why does increasing the temperature of a thermistor decrease it's resistance?

Surely, upon an increase in temperature, the atoms within the thermistor would vibrate with more energy and therefore more vigorously, hence making the electrons flowing through the electric circuit ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Does electron-electron scattering contribute to resistivity?

Electron-phonon and electron-defect scattering clearly contributes to resistance, but pure electron-electron scattering conserves the total momentum (and energy) of all the electrons. Then, how is it ...
9
votes
8answers
1k views

Does Ohm's law $V = IR$ mean voltage causes current, or does it just say that voltage and current are related?

I have read that Ohm's law, $V=IR ,$ just means that $V$ is equivalent to $IR ,$ not that voltage is the cause of current. This is similar to the interpretation of Newton's second law, $\mathbf{F} = ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Is potential difference the same across each branch in a parallel circuit under ALL circumstances?

If you place a cell with negligible internal resistance and an EMF of 5V in parallel with 2 resistors, as shown below, each resistor will have a potential difference of 5V across it. However, if you ...
9
votes
2answers
865 views

Relativistic resistance transformation

During a discussion with my professor, he asked me about relativistic resistance transformation. Firstly I started with the formula $R=\frac{\rho L}{s}$, where $\rho$ is electric resistivity. So if ...
9
votes
3answers
26k views

Which dissipates more power, a small or big resistor?

I was talking to someone about trying to dissipate the most heat from a metal crucible (essentially just a resistor $R$). He argued that you wanted the resistor to have a high resistance because $P=I^...
9
votes
5answers
9k views

What causes contact resistance?

When two components are combined in an electric circuit, there is apart from their own resistances a contact resistance at their junction. This causes a sudden voltage drop of $V_{drop}=R_{contact}I$....
9
votes
4answers
10k views

Why does a short circuit generate fire?

When a short circuit occurs it's obvious that there is fire. How come electric energy turns out to be heat energy? What causes the conductors to get hot when short circuit is present.