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Homework Help: Conceptualizing Resistance

  1. Mar 14, 2008 #1
    A (roughly made) diagram of the circuit is given in the attachment. The red zigzags represent resistors R1 and R2; the blue line is a switch. Why is it that when the switch is closed, no current runs through R2? The explanation I was given was because there is an alternate resistance-free route...but can someone elaborate more on this. Technically, wouldn't the current split along the route?

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 14, 2008 #2
    wut up....quick question: how long does it take for this pending approval process to finish???
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2008
  4. Mar 14, 2008 #3
    Can't see the image, but...I'm guessing the switch creates a path that shorts the ends of the resistor R2, right?

    No current would flow in the resistor if the wire is perfect, with no resistance at all. If there is any resistance in the wire, then the current will be split, with the bulk of the current going through the wire, and the tiny remainder going through the resistor.
  5. Mar 15, 2008 #4
    Thats right...it creates a path that shorts the ends of resistor R2. So, would that be a feature only for resistors, or would the same thing happen if I replaced R2 with a capacitor....or is that just a general feature of short circuiting?
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2008
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