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Regarding resistivity in heating coils

  1. Jun 1, 2014 #1
    I have a question regarding "ohm level" in a heating element in the design of a device designed to vaporize a liquid.

    I thought I had a pretty solid understanding of this but I've been told that I was wrong.

    So, I thought that if you increase the resistance (higher ohm) in a heating element within a circuit you would also increase the amount of energy lost as heat which would also mean that the heating element would get hotter compared to a device with lower resistance (lower ohm).

    Another designer told me that it's the other way around. The lower the "ohms" the hotter the heating element will become one the circuit is closed.

    This makes absolutely no sense to me because in my understanding the larger the resistance the more energy is dissipated as heat and therefore the hotter the heating element becomes.

    Could someone explain to me where I am making an error in my understanding?

    Thank you ladies and gentlemen
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 1, 2014 #2
    Hi s3nka. Welcome to physics forums.

    The heating rate is E2/R, so, for fixed E, the heating rate increases with decreasing resistance.

  4. Jun 1, 2014 #3
    Thanks for the quick response but I still don't quite understand why that if you have more resistance there isn't more electrical energy lost as heat and as a result more heat dissipated by the heating element (resistor)
  5. Jun 1, 2014 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    Because if the resistance is too high, not very much current is flowing.
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