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# Chapter3: Resistance

Whatyouneedtoknow:
Whatisresistance?
Howisresistancemeasured?
WhatistheS.Iunitforresistance?
Howtodeterminetheeffectiveresistanceofacircuit?
WhatisOhmsLaw?Howdoweapplyit?
Whataffectsresistance?
Howtointerpretvoltagecurrentgraphs?

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Chapter3:Resistance

3.1

Whatisresistance?

## Resistance is a measure of how difficult it is for an electric

currenttopassthroughamaterial.

Resistanceisusuallyrepresentedbythesymbol,.
TheS.Iunitforresistanceis..
It is named in honour of Georg Ohm, a German physicist
whostudiedtherelationshipbetweencurrentandpotential
differenceinmaterials.

## You may read his biography at http://wwwhistory.mcs.st

and.ac.uk/Biographies/Ohm.html

DefinitionandFormula
Theresistanceofanelectricalcomponentisdefinedasthe
ratio of the .. across the
componenttotheflowingthroughit.
Itmaybecalculatedusing

where
Rrepresentsresistancemeasuredinohm,.
Vrepresentspotentialdifferencemeasuredin..,Vand
Irepresents....measuredin..
Therefore, 1 is the amount of electrical resistance that
existsinanelectricalcircuitwhenofcurrentisflowing
with..ofpotentialdifferenceappliedtothecircuit.

Howdoyoudeterminetheresistanceofalightbulb?

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Chapter3:Resistance

3.2

Determiningresistance

Todeterminetheresistanceofalightbulb,wewillneedto
measure the current flowing through it and the potential
differenceacrossit.

AcircuitasshowninFig3.2.1maybesetupforthispurpose.
The ammeter measures the . flowing
through

the

bulb

and

the

voltmeter

measures

the..acrossthebulb.

A
V

Fig.3.2.1Circuittomeasuretheresistanceofabulb.

Example1
When a potential difference of 230 V is applied across a
heating coil, 7.0 A of current flows through the coil.
Calculate
a) theresistanceoftheheatingcoil.
b) thenewcurrentflowingthroughthecoilif,thepotential

Solution:
V

230

7.0

a) Resistanceofheatingcoil,R= =

=33
V

b) Newcurrentflowingthroughcoil,I= =
R

110

=3.3A

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Chapter3:Resistance

Exercise1
Forthecircuitshownbelow,statethee.m.fsuppliedbythe
batteryandcalculatetheresistanceofthebulb.

2.5A

6.0V

Solution:

Exercise2
Acurrentof120mAflowsthroughanelectricaldevicewith
aresistanceof4.0k.
Determinethepotentialdifferenceacrosstheresistor.

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Chapter3:Resistance

Exercise3
Whichofthesecircuitshasagreaterresistance?Explain.

Circuit1

Circuit2

..
..
..
..
..
..
..

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Chapter3:Resistance

Exercise4
Determinethepotentialdifferencethatisneededtocausea
currentof1.5Atoflowthrougha1kresistor.

3.3

OhmsLaw

DefinitionandFormula
Ohms Law states that the current flowing in a metallic
conductor is .. to the potential
difference applied across its ends, provided that physical
conditionsarekeptconstant.
IV

## In the next section, we will use an iPad app called

explorimentstoverifytheabovelaw.

Activity:VerifyingOhmsLaw
Look for the following icon to start exploriments Ohms
Law.

Tap on Activities to exit the overview and then select
Activity 4: Verification of Ohms Law as shown in the
screenshotinFig.3.4.1.

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Chapter3:Resistance

Fig.3.4.1.ScreenshotofActivities

ConnectthevoltmeterandammeterasshowninFig.3.4.2.
You will need to remove the one of the wires in order to
connecttheammeter.

Calculator
Graph

Switch

Fig.3.4.2ScreenshotofActivity4

Checkthatthebatteryshowsane.m.fof1Vandswitchon
the circuit by tapping on the switch. The switch will turn
greentoindicatethatthecircuitisclosedandyoushouldbe
abletoseetheflowofelectrons.Toseethedirectionofthe
conventional current, slide the left bottom control from
ElectronFlowtoConventionalCurrent.
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Chapter3:Resistance

inthetableshownontherightbottomcorner.

## Adjust the e.m.f of the battery to 2 V, 3 V and 4 V and

Aftereachsetofvaluesisentered,apointwillbeplottedon
thegraph.Recordyourobservationsofthedataandgraph
obtainedbelow.

Now,tapontheresistorandincreaseitsresistanceto3.
Obtain another 4 sets of readings of current and voltage.
Whatdoyouobserve?

Now,increasethevalueoftheresistanceagainandrepeat
theexperiment.Whatdoyouobserve?

Myobservations:

Conclusion:
TheVIgraphofanohmicconductorisalways
.
indicating a proportionate relationship between the
potential difference and current flowing through the
....

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Chapter3:Resistance

3.5

NonOhmicConductors
ElectricalconductorsthatobeyOhmsLawarecalledohmic
conductors while conductors that do not are called non
ohmicconductors.

TheVIgraphsofnonohmicconductorswillnotbestraight
linesthatpassthroughtheorigin.

## Examples of nonohmic conductors are filament lamps and

diodes.TheirVIgraphsareshowninFig.3.5.1.

Diode

FilamentLamp

Fig.3.5.1aVIgraphsoffilamentlampanddiode.

HowdoyouthinktheIVgr aphsofthesecomponentswill

look?Sketchtheminthegivenspacebelow.

Diode

Fig.3.5.1bIVgraphsoffilamentlampanddiode.

FilamentLamp

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Chapter3:Resistance

## Recall that the gradients of the VI graphs gives us the

values of the components resistance. Since the graphs for
nonohmic conductors are curves, and the gradient of a
curvechangesateverypoint,itmeansthattheresistanceof
thecomponentsalso..fordifferentvaluesofV
andI.

## still holds, the

valueofRisnotaconstantfornonohmicconductors.

Exercise5
DrawtheVIandIVgraphsforanohmicconductorthathas
a20resistance.

Exercise6
TheIVgraphsof2ohmicconductors,R1andR2areshown
below. Determine if R1 or R2 has a higher resistance and

..

R1

..

..

R2

..

..

V ..

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Chapter3:Resistance

3.6

SectionSummary
Before we proceed further, write down the keypoints
coveredinthissection.

1)

2)

3)

...

3.7

FactorsAffectingResistance

## The electrical resistance of a piece of wire is affected the

followingfactors.

1. Itscrosssectionalarea,A
2. Itslength,L
3. Itsresistivity, whichisdependentonthematerial
4. Itstemperature,t

3.7.1 Crosssectionalarea,A
Fortwowiresofthesamelengthandmaterial,thewirethat
has a crosssectional area will have
aresistance.
For example, the wires shown below, P and Q are made
fromthesamematerialandhavethesamelengthbutwire
Q has a resistance as it has a .
crosssectionalarea.
P

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Q
Chapter3:Resistance

3.7.2 Length,L
Fortwowiresofthesamethicknessandmaterial,thelonger
willhavea...resistance.

Forinstance,wiresSandRbelowareofthesamematerial
andhavethesamethickness.

Theresistanceof.willbegreater.

3.7.3 Resistivity,
Resistivity is a constant which is a property of the material
of the conductor. It has unit .. Table 3.7.3a shows
thevaluesofresistivityforsomematerials.Goodconductors
usuallyhave..resistivities.

Table3.7.3aResistivitiesofsomematerials

Material

Resistivity,/m

Silver

1.5108

Copper

1.7108

Aluminium

2.8108

Mercury

95108

Nichrome

100108

Graphite

350108

Diamond

Polythene

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Chapter3:Resistance

DefinitionandFormula
Combining the 3 factors, the resistance of a piece of
conducting wire may be determined by the following
equation:

where
Risresistancemeasuredin.,
Lislengthmeasuredin..,
Aiscrosssectionalareameasuredin..,and

isresistivitymeasuredin..

3.7.4 Temperature,t
As the temperature increases, the resistance of most
conductorsincreases(exceptcarbonandsemiconductors).

## For example, a thermistor is a thermal resistor whose

resistance varies with temperature. For a common
thermistor,itsresistancedecreasesasthetemperaturerises
andiswidelyusedtocontroltemperature.

Exercise7
The graph below shows voltage current graphs of
conductorsPandQ.

V/V

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I/A

Chapter3:Resistance

a) DoPandQobeyOhmsLaw?Explainwhy.

b) CalculatetheresistanceofconductorsPandQ.

## c) If both conductors are of the same material and have

thesamelength,explainwhichconductoristhinner.

## d) Calculate the ratio of the crosssectional area of P to

wireQ.

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Chapter3:Resistance

3.8

EffectiveResistanceofaCircuit
In most electrical circuits, more than one resistor will be
used.Howdowedeterminetheeffectiveresistanceofsuch
acircuit?Thisdependsonhowtheresistorsareconnected.

## The resistors may be connected in ..

or..arrangement.

3.8.1 Resistorsconnectedinseries
For resistors connected in series as shown below. The
effective resistance is simply the sum of the individual
resistanceofeachresistor.

R3

R2

R1

Effectiveresistanceforresistorinseries=R1+R2+R3
Forinstance,ifyouconnectfive2resistorsinseries,the
effectiveresistanceis10.

Exercise8
Determinetheeffectiveresistanceofthefollowingcircuit.

Ans:.

20

100

Ans:.

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Chapter3:Resistance

3.8.2 Resistorsconnectedinparallel
To determine the resistance of resistors connected in
parallel,followtheformulabelow.

R1

R2

R3

EectiveResistance

1 1 1
+ +
R1 R2 R3

Example2
Determinetheresistanceofthefollowingcircuits.

Solution:
EectiveResistance

11

12

+ +

Therefore,effectiveresistance=12/11=1.1

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Chapter3:Resistance

Exercise9
Determinetheresistanceofthefollowingcircuits.

Ans:.

10

Ans:.

10

Ans:.

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Chapter3:Resistance

Exercise10
Determinetheresistanceofthefollowingcircuit.

Ans:.

Ans:.

theresistorsareconnectedinseries?Inparallel?

Howmanywaysaretheretobuildacircuitofeffective

## resistance of 9 if you only have resistors of 3 and

4?
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Chapter3:Resistance

Whatarethese?Whatfunction(s)dotheyserve?

3.9

AttemptassignmentAS1.3

Summary

Writedownthekeypointscoveredinthischapter.

1)

2)

3)

...

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Chapter3:Resistance