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Ohms law is defined as a fundamental rule for analyzing circuits which

involve only one voltage, current and resistance in the simplest cases. Interestingly
Ohms law is named for the relationship between circuits in which Georg Simon
Ohm proposed. This relationship is often presented as the equation, V=IR. In the
equation, V is voltage, I is current, and R is resistance. Voltage is represented by the
unit called volts (V), current is represented by amperes (A), and ohms are
represented by a symbol called ohm () respectively. Specifically in reference to
Ohms law equation, resistance can be inferred from how many current flows in a
circuit with a fixed voltage.
It is important to understand just what is meant by these quantities. The
current (I) is a measure of how many electrons are flowing past a given point during
a set amount of time. The current flows because of the electric potential (V),
sometimes referred to as the voltage, applied to a circuit. In much the same way
that a gravitational potential will cause mass to move, the electric potential will
cause electrons to move. If you lift a book and release it from a height (high
gravitational potential) it will fall downward (to a lower potential). The electric
potential works in a similar way; if one point of the circuit has a high electric
potential, it means that it has a net positive charge and another point of the circuit
with a low potential will have a net negative charge. Electrons in a wire will flow
from low electric potential with its net negative charge to high electric potential with
its net positive charge because unlike charges attract and like charges repel. As
these electrons flow through the wire, they are scattered by atoms in the wire. The
resistance of the circuit is just that; it is a measure of how difficult it is for the
electrons to flow in the presence of such scattering. This resistance is a property of
the circuit itself, and just about any material has a resistance. Materials that have a
low resistance are called conductors and materials that have a very high resistance
are called insulators. Some materials have a moderate resistance and still allow
some current to flow. These are the materials that we use to make resisters like the
ones we will use in this experiment. In short, the electric potential causes the
current to flow and the resistance impedes that flow.
Importantly, in more complex situations involving circuits, Ohms law can be
utilized. For instance, in addition to determining resistance of a circuit with one
resistor, Ohms law can be used to determine the equivalent resistance of circuits
containing more than one resistor. According to Ohms law, the current through
each resistor is equal in a series connection and voltage differs in depending upon
the value of each resistance. Therefore, in a situation involving two resistors
connected in series, the equation that would be used to determine the equivalent
resistance would be R1 + R2. Yet, if two resistors are connected in parallel, the
equation to determine equivalent resistance would be R1R2/(R1 + R2). Using these
relationships, a complex circuit can be redrawn as a circuit with a single resistor.

Fig 2.1: Schematics of circuits illustrating resistors connected in series and in


Table 2.1 Equations of two resistors in series and parallel.