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Stumped by Basic Kirchhoff's Loop Rule Question

  1. Nov 19, 2011 #1


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    Kirchhoff's Loop Rule: The directed sum of the electrical potential differences (voltage) around any closed circuit is zero.

    I'm an electron. I'm in a single loop series circuit with just a 5 volt battery and a resistor. The battery gives me a voltage boost of 5 volts and sends me on my way to the resistor. The resistor perfectly robs me of the 5 volts that I got from the battery. How, then, am I able to continue to flow? If my voltage gain is offset by an opposite and equal voltage loss, shouldn't I simply be stuck dead in the wire?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2011 #2
    If you want to look at it that way...

    It is not like the resistor is actually pushing you back...the resistor is a passive element...it is only offering some resistance to your motion.

    The battery gives you enough push to push you across the resistor and end up back at the back end of the battery where the battery itself will give you another push like a hotwheels track pushes a toy car once around.

    The thing is that the reason why you and a finite amount of your friends are going around the circuit is precisely because the battery was able to only push so many...because the opposition of the resistance...in a self-balancing act, if you will

    Hope this helps
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