Ohm's law

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Ohm's law states that the current through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the potential difference or voltage across the two points, and inversely proportional to the resistance between them.[1]

The mathematical equation that describes this relationship is:[2]

where I is the current through the resistance in units of amperes, V is the potential difference measured across the resistance in units of volts, and R is the resistance of the conductor in units of ohms. More specifically, Ohm's law states that the R in this relation is constant, independent of the current.[3]

The law was named after the German physicist Georg Ohm, who, in a treatise published in 1827, described measurements of applied voltage and current through simple electrical circuits containing various lengths of wire. He presented a slightly more complex equation than the one above (see History section below) to explain his experimental results. The above equation is the modern form of Ohm's law.

In physics, the term Ohm's law is also used to refer to various generalizations of the law originally formulated by Ohm. The simplest example of this is:

where J is the current density at a given location in a resistive material, E is the electric field at that location, and σ is a material dependent parameter called the conductivity. This reformulation of Ohm's law is due to Gustav Kirchhoff.[4]


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