# Electrical Resistivity Equation

by Matt.D
Tags: electrical, equation, resistivity
 P: 25 Is the correct equation that relates to the electrical resistivity of a conducting material to its resistance: p = RS/l p = is the electrical resistivity R = is the resistance of the material S = is the cross-sectional area l = is the length of the specimen if I'm using the right formula, would my answer to this question be correct? A potential difference of 1.5V exists across the ends of a copper wire of length 2.0m and uniform radius 0.40mm. Calculate the current in the wire. I've been given the resistivity of copper as 1.7 x 10^-4 ohms.meter [Answer] p = RS/l = (1.7 x 10^-4) x 0.40mm / 2.0m = 0.0007 x 0.0004 / 2.0 = 0.00000014 corecto?
Mentor
P: 40,704
 Quote by Matt.D Is the correct equation that relates to the electrical resistivity of a conducting material to its resistance: p = RS/l p = is the electrical resistivity R = is the resistance of the material S = is the cross-sectional area l = is the length of the specimen
That's correct.

 if I'm using the right formula, would my answer to this question be correct?
Only if you use it correctly!

 p = RS/l = (1.7 x 10^-4) x 0.40mm / 2.0m = 0.0007 x 0.0004 / 2.0 = 0.00000014
Not correct. (If you checked the units of your calculation, you'd see that things don't match.)

First, you need to calculate the resistance (R) of that piece of copper wire, not the resistivity ($\rho$, which is a fixed property of copper). You are given the resistivity, not the resistance. Rearrange that formula as so:
$$R = \rho L / S$$
Once you find the resistance, then you can use Ohm's law to find the current.
 P: 25 Thanks Doc! Using the rearranged formula I've calculated: R = pl/S R = 0.0007 x 2.0 / 0.0004 R = 0.0014 / 0.0004 R = 3.5 Ohms Using Ohms Law I = V/R I = 1.5V (as stated in the question) / 3.5 ohms I = 0.42857.. I = 0.43
Emeritus