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# Potential Difference & Ohms Law Resistance

PH1.5

## Potential Difference & Ohms Law

The potential difference (p.d) between two points is the energy converted from electrical potential energy to some other form per coulomb of charge flowing from one point to the other. Potential difference is measure in volts (V) never refer to the p.d as VOLTAGE! In terms of what a volt is, it is a Joule per coulomb. (V = JC1 ) We must know the relationship between p.d and current is some components. These are a metal wire (at constant temperature), a filament bulb and a diode. Here are the relationships shown on a graph: Metal Wire Filament Bulb

Diode

## Potential Difference & Ohms Law Resistance

PH1.5

The thing that links potential difference and current together is Ohms law (i.e. resistance) Ohms law states that the current flowing through a metal wire at a constant temperature is proportional to the p.d across it. So do these graphs obey Ohms law? Answer; Metal Wire: Yes this obeys Ohms law because the graph shows a straight line through the origin, i.e. current is directly proportional to the p.d (Note this is only because we have a constant temperature) Filament Bulb: No this does not obey Ohms law as it shows a curve, which mean that the current was not proportional to the p.d. This is because as the current through the lamp increases so does the temperature, leading to more resistance. Diode: No this also does not obey Ohms law, as a diode is designed to stop current flowing in a negative direction, no matter what the p.d and current are, hence a high resistance. Also it is designed to create low resistances when connected in the positive direction. Therefore not obeying Ohms law. Electrical resistance of a conductor is the p.d placed across it divided by the current through it. The equation for resistance or Ohms law is; p.d = current x resistance or V=IR or R=VI

Resistance is measured in Ohms (). An Ohm is equal to a volt per amp ( = VA-1). Resistance comes about as charge carriers (electrons in metals) collide with each other and the metal ions. Below are some questions relating to p.d, resistance and Ohms law. Examples: A circuit is shown below. The resistance of the bulb is 6.3 and the ammeter reads 0.21A. What will the voltmeter read? Answer; Using Ohms law V=IR V = 0.21 x 6.3 V = 1.3V 2

## Potential Difference & Ohms Law Resistance

PH1.5

We will do a lot more work on the equation V = I x R in PH1.6 when working with DC Circuits, when we will look at series and parallel circuits. Prove that Ohms law is homogenous in terms of units. Answer; V=IxR JC-1 = A x VA-1 JC-1 = A x JC-1 A-1 NmC-1 = A x NmC-1 A-1 kg1m2s-2m1C-1 = A1 x kg1m2s-2m1 C-1 A-1 kg1m3s-2 (A1s1) -1= A1 kg1 m3s-2 (A1s1) -1 A-1 kg1m3s-2A-1s-1 = A1 kg1 m3s-2 A-1s-1 A-1 kgm3s-3A-1 = kgm3s-3 A-1 Key Points; Replace one derived unit at a time with its base units. Obtain from the equations on the data sheet. It may be easier to X1 when units are on their own to remind you to include the power when adding units Here remember it is C1 so it is C in base units all to -1 so (As) -1

Key Points; The potential difference (p.d) between two points is the energy converted from electrical potential energy to some other form per coulomb of charge flowing from one point to the other. Ohms Law states that the current flowing through a metal wire at a constant temperature is proportional to the p.d across it. V=IxR or R=VI

## Potential Difference & Ohms Law Resistance

PH1.5

Practice Questions
1. Sketch a graph of current against potential difference for; (i) a metal wire (assume it is at a constant temperature) (1 mark) (ii) a filament bulb (1 mark) (iii) a diode (1 mark) 2. Define potential difference (p.d) (2 marks) 3. An experiment was conducted. The table below shows the results obtained. Complete the column labeled Resistance. (1 mark)

PH1.5