1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Resistance, Current & Voltage

  1. Oct 25, 2009 #1
    hey there, my question is just regarding non-linear resistors, basically if you had a situation whereby the current through a non-linear resistor is given by

    [tex]I = 0.5 V^2[/tex]

    and you know the current through it (and thereby it's voltage), so for arguments sake current = 2A and therefore voltage = 2V. at this point, would the "resistance" of the resistor still obey Ohms law? so would therefore be 1 ohm (at this current)? or would it simply be the case that it has no "resistance" at all? or it's "resistance" is the fact that I = 0.5 V^2...

    thanks in advance, it's quite a simple problem but i just thought of it
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 25, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Its resistance would be [itex]1\,\Omega[/itex], but it wouldn't follow Ohm's Law, which states that the ratio [itex]V/R[/itex] is constant.
  4. Oct 26, 2009 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    It would not follow Ohm's law, but in any sufficiently small neighborhood around some specific voltage you could model it as an ideal resistor that does follow Ohm's law in series with an ideal voltage source.
  5. Oct 26, 2009 #4
    hmm I see, thanks alot for clearing this up for me, but it begs a question then,

    if the question was such that it asked (with my earlier model) something along the lines of, given a 9V battery, what fixed resistance resistor must be placed in series with it in order for the current in the circuit to be 2A would that mean that;

    given the current resistance of the non linear resistor the resistance of the fixed one must satisfy [tex](\frac{1}{1+R})* 9=2[/tex]

    or would you simply say that in order for that to occur the current would be 2A and 7V must pass through the linear resistor giving it a resistance of 14 ohms?

    i think the answer is the former, but it makes it confusing :eek:
  6. Oct 26, 2009 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    You would solve:
    [tex]\sqrt{2 I} + R I = V[/tex]
    Where V is the battery voltage, I is the current, and R is the unknown resistance.
  7. Oct 26, 2009 #6
    hmm okay, so you totally discount the "current resistance" of the non-linear resistance? because clearly the first way i outlined doesn't yield the correct result

    thanks for the help, much obliged
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Resistance, Current & Voltage
  1. Voltage and current (Replies: 3)