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Homework Help: Finding the equivalent resistance of an RL cct & step input

  1. Mar 11, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Determine the inductor current i(t) for both t<0 and t>0 for the circuit shown in the attached document"Circuit 1.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Before t=0, i=(25)/(3+2) = 5A
    After t=0, i(t)=i(0)e^(-t/tow)

    However, the solution states that the equivalent resistance of the circuit is 2, whereas I got 6/5. I am not sure how they were able to get this. Can someone help?

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2015 #2
    After t = 0, the switch closes, so the left half of the circuit is short circuited. Since you need the equivalent resistance seen from the terminals of the inductor, and since the 3 Ohm resistor is part of the short-circuited loop, there's only the 2 Ohm resistor to account for.
  4. Mar 11, 2015 #3
    Or let me put it this way. Write a Thevenin equivalent of the left loop, with the terminals slightly to the right of the short circuit. That should make it easier to see.
  5. Mar 11, 2015 #4
    Why is it that when you short circuit the voltage source, you ignore the 3 ohm resistor as well? The circuit I get is attached in the file

    Attached Files:

  6. Mar 11, 2015 #5
    Check your Thevenin resistance again. If you attached a voltage source to the terminals, what would happen? Would there be a voltage difference across the resistor? Would the resistor affect anything?
  7. Mar 11, 2015 #6
    Wouldn't there be a voltage difference across the 3 ohm resistor?
  8. Mar 11, 2015 #7
    From Ohm's law, V = IR. So you want the voltage across the resistor. Well, you know the resistance. So what's the current through the resistor?

    Or perhaps no current would ever travel through the resistor if there's another path to take that has 0 resistance...hint hint

    So in other words, does the resistor have a potential difference across it?
  9. Mar 12, 2015 #8


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    Staff: Mentor

    Sketch the circuit given, and draw a closed loop showing the path that current through the inductor follows after the switch has been closed.
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