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Electric Potential Drop Across A Resistor

  1. Mar 18, 2013 #1
    Hello,

    As a charge traverses through a resistive circuit element it will have a certain amount of potential energy before entering the circuit element; and as it passes through, it's potential energy will decrease (due to it converting to kinetic energy, and collisions)--this I iunderstand. Since there is a relationship between electric potential and potential energy, we can use it to see that electric potential decreases--this I also understand. What I am curious about is, what is happening to the electric field in this circuit element? I know that there is a relationship between electric potential and the electric field, which has scalar values of electric potential assigned to points in the field. So, what's happening to the "anatomy" of the electric field in a resistive circuit element?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2013 #2
    Actually at everyday conditions a "resistive circuit element" is pretty much everything from the power station through the wires /local transformers your ac mains cables to your circuit board and so on. And that is just because that at room or normal outside temperatures metals even copper and silver and gold show a electrical resistance.Ones have bigger the others smaller but they have one.So the charge is constantly loosing it's power , but ofcourse that is minimal compared to a resistor which is specifically designed to loose it.converting it to heat.

    Well to my best understanding the electric field strength is proportional to the electric potential of a charge at given point or voltage at that point.
    So when current passes through a resistor it looses some of that potential hence the field should get weaker.
    I think it is logical for a lower electric potential to have a lower electric field.That's why you have a large safety and no living zone around high voltage power lines, because the electromagnetic (electric) (magnetic) fields are strong.

    In a dc system theoretically you should see the potential drop across the resistor measuring at parts of the resistor if it would be a wire wound open type one or so.

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/electric/efromv.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_potential

    these might help
     
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