# Section 4. Ohm s Law: Putting up a Resistance. What Do You See? What Do You Think? Investigate. Learning Outcomes

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1 Section 4: Ohm s Law: Putting up a Resistance Section 4 Ohm s Law: Putting up a Resistance What Do You See? Learning Outcomes In this section, you will Calculate the resistance of an unknown resistor given the voltage drop and current. Construct a series circuit. Use a voltmeter and ammeter in a series circuit accurately. Express the relationship between voltage and current for a resistor that obeys Ohm s law in a graph. What Do You Think? Lighting makes some rooms conducive to work and other rooms more relaxing. What determines the brightness of a light bulb? What determines how much current flows in a circuit? Record your ideas about these questions in your log. Be prepared to discuss your responses with your small group and the class. Investigate Imagine a black box, a box that you cannot see inside. Inside the box is a resistor. In this Investigate, you will determine the contents of the black box electrically by measuring the voltage across and the current through the resistor inside. 1. In order to predict what is in the black box, you first will have to complete an investigation of three different resistors, a 5-Ω (ohm), a 10-Ω, and a 15-Ω resistor. You will need to set up a simple circuit with a resistor, a voltmeter, and an ammeter, as shown in the diagram on the next page. By varying the voltage of the battery, you can learn how the current of the circuit and the voltage across a resistor changes. 623

3 Section 4 Ohm s Law: Putting up a Resistance Physics Talk OHM S LAW RELATES RESISTANCE TO OLTAGE AND CURRENT Scientists study black boxes all the time. A black box is an object or a phenomenon that you cannot see directly. Scientists will often define something to be a black box and describe it in terms of how it interacts with the world around it. In this section, you investigated a black box electrically to discover the resistor that was inside. You first measured the voltage and current of three known resistors. The measurements of voltage and current showed that increasing the voltage increased the current in the circuit. This was true for all three resistors. The ratio of the voltage to current was constant for any single resistor. For example, data of the voltage and current for the 3-Ω may have looked like the first two columns of the chart. The third column is the ratio of voltage to current. oltage () Current (A) oltage Current I The ratio of the voltage to current is equal to the electrical resistance. This relationship is referred to as Ohm s law. Many resistors obey Ohm s law, which states that as the voltage increases at a fixed rate, the current increases at the same rate. This is expressed mathematically: R = I where R is the resistance in ohms (Ω), Georg Simon Ohm, a German physicist. Physics Words electrical resistance: the ratio of the voltage across a conductor divided by the current. Ohm s law: voltage increases at a fixed rate as the current increases at the same rate. is the voltage in volts (), and I is the current in amperes (A). 625

4 Chapter 6 Electricity for Everyone Checking Up 1. What is the name for the ratio of the voltage applied to a circuit and the current in a circuit? 2. A single 5-Ω resistor is placed in a circuit that has a battery supplying 10. What current will flow in this circuit? 3. When the voltage is increased in a circuit with a single resistor that obeys Ohm s law, what will happen to the current in the circuit? The unit of resistance is the ohm. A one-ohm resistor connected to a onevolt battery will draw one ampere of current. The symbol for ohm is the Greek letter omega (Ω). This equation can be rearranged to calculate the value of any of the terms. = RI I = R The helpful algebra circle can be used to solve for any of the three variables, by covering up the variable you are solving for and viewing the equation. If you want to solve for voltage, cover the and you will see that you must multiply I by R (since they are side by side). If you want to solve for current, cover the I and you will I R see that you must divide by R. If you want to solve for resistance, cover the R and you will see that you must divide by I. Some resistors obey Ohm s law over a wide range of voltages. For these resistors, the value of R always remains the same. Sample Problem A 2-Ω resistor is placed in a circuit. Record the currents corresponding to voltage measurements of 10 and 30. Strategy: You are asked to calculate current for a known resistor. You can use Ohm s law, which shows the relationship among voltage, resistance, and current. Given: R = 2 Ω Solution: I = R = 10 and I = I = 2 Ω 2 Ω = 5 A = 15 A Dimensional Analysis and Ohm s Law In the sample problem, you used the equation I = R Recall that resistance (R), measured in ohms ( Ω ), is the ratio of the voltage to the current, measured in A. Also, recall that mathematically A = A = A Notice how the units cancel, leaving the unit for current, amperes (A). 626

5 Section 4 Ohm s Law: Putting up a Resistance +Math +Depth +Concepts +Exploration Plus voltage () Graphing Ohm s Law Ohm s law expresses the relationship between the voltage and current R = I For most resistors, the ratio of the voltage and current is a constant. Recording the varying voltage and the corresponding current would allow you to make a graph. If the resistor obeys Ohm s law, the ratio of the voltage and current remains the same and the graph would be a straight line. If the current is on the x-axis and the voltage on the y-axis, the slope of the line is equal to R. For the data given in the Physics Talk for a 3-Ω resistor, the graph would look like the one shown. Ohm s Law current (A) 1. Calculate the slope of the line and determine if, in fact, it is equal to 3 Ω. It makes sense to calculate the slope. The equation for a straight line is y = mx + b, where m is the slope of the line, and b is the y-intercept. The y-axis has the value of voltage () and the x-axis has the values of current (I). The y-intercept is zero. Lining up the equations for a straight line and Ohm s law, you can see that the slope m is equal to the resistance (R). y = m x + b = R I Recognize that this graph is a bit unusual. Usually, the independent variable (the one you vary) goes on the x-axis and the dependent variable goes on the y-axis. If your data were plotted like that, the slope of the line would be equal to I which is equal to 1 R. 2. Plot the data as current versus voltage. Calculate the slope and determine if, in fact, it is equal to 1/(3-Ω). 3. Using either the -I format or the I- format, graph the data from the three resistors, 3 Ω, 10 Ω, and 15 Ω on a single graph. What Do You Think Now? Lighting makes some rooms conducive to work and other rooms more relaxing. What determines the brightness of a light bulb? What determines how much current flows in a circuit? How would you answer these questions now? What else would you think you need to know to answer the questions more completely? 627

6 Chapter 6 Electricity for Everyone Physics Essential Questions What does it mean? What is Ohm s law? How do you know? How do you know that Ohm s law is a valid description of the relationship between voltage, current and resistance? Why do you believe? Connects with Other Physics Content Fits with Big Ideas in Science Meets Physics Requirements Electricity and magnetism Models Experimental evidence is consistent with models and theories In physics, mathematical models are created that express relationships between quantities. Explain why you believe that Ohm s law can be applied to a wide variety of objects. Why should you care? How will you use Ohm s law to help design the electrical system for the limited power and energy of your wind generator? Reflecting on the Section and the Challenge Ohm s law expresses the relationship between voltage and current for many resistors. Your appliances are all electrical resistors. These resistors can get hot (in toasters) or help a motor turn (in fans) or create light (in bulbs). Knowing the resistance allows you to use Ohm s law to compute the voltage and current required in a circuit. As you develop your appliance package, you will need to consider the voltage and currents used in the circuit. You may wish to choose appliances that have different resistances to limit the power required in the circuit. 628

7 Section 4 Ohm s Law: Putting up a Resistance Physics to Go 1. Copy and fill in the table at right that provides two of the following three quantities: voltage drop across a resistor, the current through the resistor, and the resistance of the resistor. As an example, in the first row the resistance is 2 Ω and the current is 1 A. From = IR, the value of the voltage should be A resistor is placed in a circuit. Calculate the resistance in each of the following cases. a) The current in the circuit is 3 A and the voltage drop across the resistor is 12. b) The current in the circuit is 2 A and the voltage drop across the resistor is A resistor of 5 Ω is placed in a circuit. The voltage drop across the resistor is 12. What is the current through the resistor? 4. A resistor is placed in a circuit. The current in the circuit is 2 A and the voltage drop across the resistor is 8. The voltage is then increased to 12. What will be the new current? 5. Plus Using the information in the data table, construct a graph following the directions below. Mark an appropriate scale on the x-axis labeled Current (A). Current (A) oltage () Mark an appropriate scale on the y-axis labeled oltage () Plot the data points for voltage versus current Draw the best-fit line a) Using your graph, find the slope of the best-fit line. b) What physical quantity does the slope of the graph represent? Your hair dryer has a resistance of 9.6 Ω and you plug it into the bathroom outlet. Assume household voltage to be 120 and that different parts of your house are connected in parallel. a) What current will it draw? b) Suppose your brother has an identical hair dryer and plugs it into the same part of the circuit. What current will the two hair dryers draw? c) If the maximum current the circuit breaker in the system can handle is 20 A, what do you think will happen? 629

8 Chapter 6 Electricity for Everyone 7. Two wires are tested in a lab Plus setting. Current was measured as the voltage across the wire was varied. The results of the experiment are shown in the graph to the right. Both wire A and B obey Ohm s law. Which wire has the greatest resistance? 8. A 12- battery is hooked up to a 3-Ω resistor. The current through the resistor is a) 36 A b) 12 A c) 4 A d) 1 4 A voltage () 9. A 2-Ω resistor has 4 A of current running through it. The voltage drop (or potential drop) across the resistor is a) 1 2 b) 2 c) 4 d) 8 A current (A) B Inquiring Further Write ohm (home) about it The ohm is a unit of electrical resistance and is given the symbol Ω, the Greek letter omega. You can have some fun with the ohm by creating an ohmexpression. A few examples are given below. Try to develop one of your own Ω-expressions. 630

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