Current through resistor, with heat. What happens to the current?

  1. 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Suppose a current of 1 A is flowing through a resistor. If this makes the resistor heat up, will the current through the resistor increase, decrease, or remain constant? Assume the voltage applied to the resistor is constant.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Please help me with this, i'm not sure, but I believe the current will decrease slightly because of the heat dissipated?
  2. jcsd
  3. PeterO

    PeterO 2,319
    Homework Helper

    The resistance of many electrical components changes with temperature. Certainly the resistance of a wire increases when it gets hotter, so if the resistor is actually made up of a length of wire you can expect that change in resistance - with an effect on the current I am sure you can predict.
  4. Okay, so as the wire heats up the resistance of the wire increases, this causes the current to decrease. Is that correct?
  5. PeterO

    PeterO 2,319
    Homework Helper

    That sounds good.

    EDIT: provided the resistor is made using wire.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  6. phinds

    phinds 8,342
    Gold Member

    The current decrease is NOT because of the heat dissipated. For an ideal resistor that does not change resistance even if it heats up, the current doesn't change.
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