Electrical resistance

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The electrical resistance of an object measures its opposition to the passage of an electric current. An object of uniform cross section has a resistance proportional to its resistivity and length and inversely proportional to its cross-sectional area. All materials show some resistance.

Discovered by Georg Ohm in 1827,[1] electrical resistance shares some conceptual parallels with the mechanical notion of friction. The SI unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (Ω). Resistance's reciprocal quantity is electrical conductance measured in siemens.

The resistance of an object can be defined as the ratio of voltage to current:

For a wide variety of materials and conditions, the electrical resistance R is constant for a given temperature; it does not depend on the amount of current through or the potential difference (voltage) across the object. Such materials are called Ohmic materials. For objects made of ohmic materials the definition of the resistance, with R being a constant for that resistor, is known as Ohm's law.

In the case of a nonlinear conductor (not obeying Ohm's law), this ratio can change as current or voltage changes; the inverse slope of a chord to an I–V curve is sometimes referred to as a "chordal resistance" or "static resistance".[2][3]


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