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# Chapter 26

## Current and Resistance

Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 2
Moving charges create electric currents if there is a NET
transfer of charge.
Examples:
Currents in wires and circuits
Lightning
Electron guns in TV picture tubes
Batteries
Cosmic rays
Definition of electric current: i = dq/dt
q
1 Ampere (A) = 1 Coulomb/second
Electric Currents
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 4
i
1
= i
2
+ i
3

i
1

i
2

i
3

Current must be the same at any point along a wire.
The total current entering any junction in the circuit is equal to the
total current leaving the junction.
Current arrows are drawn in the direction that positively charged
carriers would move, even if the actual charge carriers are
negative.
Charge is Conserved
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 5
A
i
Current density J is the
current per unit area if A
is parallel to i, then J = i/A
}
= dA J i
The area vector A is perpendicular to
the plane.
Example: A current of 30 A exists in a wire having
a diameter of 2mm. What is the current density?
The cross-sectional area of the wire is
A = t(d/2)
2
= t (0.001)
2
= 3.14 x 10
-6
m
2

Current density J = i/A = 30 A / 3.14 x 10
-6
m
2
J = 9.55 x 10
6
A/m
2

Current Density
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 6
Electrons are constantly in motion and
experience many collisions with ion cores
and other electrons.
Electron drift speed is the average speed
at which the electrons drift along a wire
when an electric field is applied.
Total charge in length L is q = (nAL)e; n : density of charge carriers
The drift velocity is v
d
= L/t t = L/v
d

v
d
= i/(nAe) = J/(ne) J = (ne) v
d
For electrons, ne is negative.
Drift Speed of Electrons
Electrons drift in a direction opposite to the direction of the electric field
(due to having negative charge).
i = q/t = nALe / (L/v
d
) = nAev
d
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 7
Calculate the drift velocity of electrons in a copper wire with
radius 900 m when it has a uniform current of 17 mA.
Assume that each copper atom contributes one electron.
Further, the molar mass of copper is 63.54 10
-3
kg/mol and
the mass density of copper is 8.96 10
3
kg/m
3
Example
v
d
= i/(nAe) = J/(ne)
Needs to know n first : since each atom contributes one
electron, then n is just the number of atoms per unit
volume
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=
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=
volume
unit per
mass
mass
unit per
moles
mole
per
atoms
volume
unit per
atoms
n
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 8
The number of atom in one mole is just the Avogadro
number 6.02 10
23
particles, and the number of moles in
one unit mass of copper is just the inverse of its molar mass
(mass of one mole copper), thus

Example
( ) ( )
3 28
3
3
23
/ 10 49 . 8
10 96 . 8
10 54 . 63
1
10 02 . 6
m electrons
volume unit per
mass
mass unit per
moles
mole per
atoms
n
=

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=
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=

## Thus, the electron drift velocity is

( ) ( )( )( )
s m
r ne
i
v
d
/ 10 9 . 4
10 54 . 2 10 6 . 1 10 49 . 8
10 17
7
6 19 28
3
2

=

= =
t
Signal and
Circuit
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 9
Near the earth, the density of
protons in the solar wind is 8.7 cm
-3

and their speed is 470 km/s. Find
the current density of protons.
J = (ne) v
d

( )
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=

km
m
s
km
C x
m
cm
cm
J
3
19
3
3 6
3
10
470 10 6 . 1
10 7 . 8
2
J = 6.54 x 10
-7
C/s m
2

= 6.54 x 10
-7
A/m
2

p
Example
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 10
Thus, Resistivity can calculated from the electric field and
current density as follows
= 1/o = E/J and has units of O m
Conductivity is the reciprocal of RESISTIVITY o = 1/
Electrical Resistance
The current density J that was calculated from the drift of
the electron should be proportional to the electric field that
makes the electron moves.

The constant of proportionality is called CONDUCTIVITY o
which has units called mho,
J = oE
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 11
When 115 V is applied across a wire that is 10 m long and
has a 0.30 mm radius, the current density is 1.4 x 10
4
A/m
2
.
Find the resistivity of the wire.
Resistivity = = E/J = (V/L)/J
= 115 V / ((10m) (1.4 x 10
4
A/m
2
))
= 8.2 x 10
-4
O m
Problem 27.23
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 12
Resistance = Potential Difference / Current R = V/ i
1 ohm = 1 O = 1 V / A
Resistance is a property of an object
Resistivity is a property of a material
Resistivities of Some Materials at Room Temp
Copper 1.69 x 10
-8
(conductor)
Aluminum 2.75 x 10
-8
(conductor)
Silicon 2.5 x 10
3
(semiconductor)
Glass 10
10
(insulator)
Electrical Resistance
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 13
For a wire or rod: R = L / A
Resistance INCREASES with the length
Resistance DECREASES with cross-sectional area
A
L
i
Electrical Resistance
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 14

0
=
0
o (T - T
0
)
Over much of the temperature range, resistivity increases
linearly with temperature and the proportionality constant is
called the temperature coefficient of resistivity o.
Copper
Resistance and Temperature
For conductors: Resistance INCREASES with temperature
Why? Because there is more motion of the atoms in the
material, increasing the number of collisions the electrons
make, thus slowing them down.
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 15
Ohms Law device Non-Ohms Law device
Ohms Law
V I
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 16
A human being can be electrocuted if
a current as small as 50 mA passes
near the heart. An electrician working
with sweaty hands makes good
contact with two conductors, one in
each hand. If his resistance is 2000O,
what might the fatal voltage be?
V = iR = 50 x 10
-3
A x 2000 O
= 100 V !!!
100 V
Problem 27.15
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 17
As the battery provides power to the
(unspecified) device, it transfers an
amount of charge
dq = i dt
The battery does work to move this charge
dU = V dq
The power provided by the battery is
P = dU/dt = V dq/dt = Vi
The unit of electrical power is watt = volt x ampere
Using V = iR, we can also write:
P = i
2
R or P = V
2
/R
Resistive
dissipation
Power in Electric Circuits
Chapter 27
Circuits
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 19
An EMF device does work on
charge carriers to move them
from a low potential to a high
potential (denoted by an arrow
on the emf diagram) inside the
device.
c = dW/dq
An ideal EMF device has no
internal resistance.
Mechanical analogy
High PE
Low PE
EMF device External circuit
Low PE
Electro Motive Force (EMF)
BatteryVoltage
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 20
The algebraic sum of the changes in potential for a
complete traversal of any loop in a circuit must be zero
For a move through a resistor in the direction of the current, the change
in potential is -iR; in the opposite direction, its + iR.
For a move through an emf device in the direction of the emf arrow
(toward the positive terminal) the change is + c; in the opposite
direction, its -c.
Clockwise: c - iR = 0
Anticlockwise: iR - c = 0
Kirchhoffs Voltage Law
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 21
R
eq
= R
1
+ R
2
+ R
3
= E R
Internal Resistance in EMF sources
Note that i must be the same every-
where in a series circuit.
c = iR
eq
= iR
1
+ iR
2
+ iR
3

Resistances in Series
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 22
To find the potential difference between two points, start at
one and traverse the circuit to the other. Follow any path,
they should all give the same answer!
Example: What is the change in potential between a and b
in the circuit above?
V
b
- V
a
= c - ir OR V
b
- V
a
= + iR
This implies c - ir = iR, or r = c/i - R
Potential Difference in Circuits
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 23
Note that the current i splits or combines
at every junction in the circuit and that
the potential difference must be the
same across any part of the circuit in
parallel.

1
R
eq
=
1
R
1
+
1
R
2
+
1
R
3
+...
Kirchhoffs Current Law: the sum of
the currents entering any junction must
be equal to the sum of currents leaving
that junction.

iR
eq
= i
1
R
1
= i
2
R
2
= i
3
R
3
3 2 1
i i i i + + =
Resistances in Parallel
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 24
How do you solve a circuits like this?
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 25
1. You dont need to know the direction of the current - just assume a
direction and go ahead and apply Kirchhoffs rules. If your
2. If a circuit can be simplified by replacing resistors in series or
parallel with their equivalents, do it.
3. If a circuit cannot be simplified to a single loop, use the junction rule
and the loop rule to write a set of simultaneous equations. You only
need as many equations as there are unknowns in the circuit.
4. Dont be afraid to make arbitrary choices for current directions,
which loops to use for Kirchhoffs laws, and starting and ending
points.
Steps to solving complex circuit
problems
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 26
Problem 28.3
The figure shows a circuit having the following elements:
c
1
= 3.0 V, c
2
= 6.0 V, R
1
= 2.0 O, R
2
= 4.0 O. Find the
magnitude and the direction of current in each of the 3
branches.
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 27
First, arbitrarily choose directions for the
currents. Then apply the junction rule:
At a: i
3
= i
1
+ i
2
At b: i
3
= i
1
+ i
2

Apply the loop rule to left-hand loop:
-i
1
R
1
- c
1
- i
1
R
1
+ c
2
+ i
2
R
2
= 0
-i
2
R
2
- c
2
- i
3
R
1
+ c
2
- i
3
R
1
= 0
Apply the loop rule to right-hand loop:
-2i
1
R
1
+ i
2
R
2
- c
1
+ c
2
= 0
i
2
R
2
+2i
3
R
1
= 0
-2i
1
R
1
- 2i
3
R
1
- c
1
+ c
2
= 0
-2R
1
(i
1
+ i
3
) - c
1
+ c
2
= 0
(i
1
+ i
3
) = -(c
1
- c
2
)/ 2R
1
= 3/4
4i
2
+4i
3
= 0 i
2
= - i
3
i
3
= i
1
+ i
2
2 i
3
= i
1

(i
1
+ i
3
) = 3 i
3
= 3/4
i
3
= 1/4, i
1
= 2/4 = 1/2, i
2
= -1/4
The minus sign on i
2
implies that the current is
opposite to what we assumed. All units are A.
Problem 28.3
c
1
= 3.0 V, c
2
= 6.0 V, R
1
= 2.0 O, R
2
= 4.0 O
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 28
How to connect an ammeter (to
measure current) and a voltmeter
(to measure potential difference).
In parallel with the resistor
(or whatever component is
being measured), R
V
is very
large so that no current
goes to the voltmeter
In series with the resistor or
battery (or whatever part of
the circuit is being measured),
R
A
is very small.
Ammeter and Voltmeter
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 29
Power provided by a source of emf is P = Vi
Power dissipated in a resistor is P = i
2
R
Energy dissipated in a resistor is U = i
2
Rt
Power in Circuits
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 30
Two bulbs are connected in series to a 3V battery. Bulb A
lights up but bulb B does not. What can you conclude?
A.Bulb B has a broken filament
B.Bulb B has a lower resistance
C.Bulb B has a higher resistance
Example
A current of 0.3A is passed through a lamp for 2 minutes
using a 6V power supply. What is the total energy
dissipated by the lamp?
U = i
2
Rt = Vit = (6V)(0.3A)(120s) = 216 J
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Fundamental Physics 2 31
Johnny Danger Powells uses one power strip to plug in his microwave,
coffee pot, toaster, and all into one outlet.
1. The resistance of the kitchen circuit is too high.
2. The voltage across the kitchen circuit is too high.
3. The current in the kitchen circuit is too high.
Toaster Coffee Pot Microwave
10 A 5 A 10 A
25 A
This is dangerous because
(By the way, power strips are wired in parallel.)
Lecture05 Electric Current and DC Circuit
SWISS GERMAN UNIVERSITY
Exercise
Do the following problems (p. 700)
15
31
40
57
Do the following problems (p. 726)
10
23
44
84

Fundamental Physics 2 32