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Ohms Law

Ohm's Law defines the relationships between (P) power, (E) voltage, (I) current, and (R) resistance. One ohm is the resistance value through which one volt will maintain a current of one ampere.

( I ) Current is what flows on a wire or conductor like water flowing down a river. Current flows from negative to positive on the surface of a conductor. Current is measured in (A) amperes or amps. ( E ) Voltage is the difference in electrical potential between two points in a circuit. It's the push or pressure behind current flow through a circuit, and is measured in (V) volts. ( R ) Resistance determines how much current will flow through a component. Resistors are used to control voltage and current levels. A very high resistance allows a small amount of current to flow. A very low resistance allows a large amount of current to flow. Resistance is measured in ohms. ( P ) Power is the amount of current times the voltage level at a given point measured in wattage or watts.

The "symbol" given for each quantity is the standard alphabetical letter used to represent that quantity in an algebraic equation. Each unit of measurement is named after a famous experimenter in electricity: The amp after the Frenchman Andre M. Ampere, the volt after the Italian Alessandro Volta, and the ohm after the German Georg Simon Ohm.

The law was named after the German physicist Georg Ohm, who, in a treatise published in 1827, described measurements of applied voltage and current through simple electrical circuits containing various lengths of wire. In physics, the term Ohm's law is also used to refer to various generalizations of the law originally formulated by Ohm. The simplest example of this is:

where J is the current density at a given location in a resistive material, E is the electric field at that location, and is a material dependent parameter called the conductivity. This reformulation of Ohm's law is due to Gustav Kirchhoff. In circuit analysis, three equivalent expressions of Ohm's law are used interchangeably:

Each equation is quoted by some sources as the defining relationship of Ohm's law, or all three are quoted, or derived from a proportional form, or even just the two that do not correspond to Ohm's original statement may sometimes be given. The interchangeability of the equation may be represented by a triangle, where V (voltage) is placed on the top section, the I (current) is placed to the left section, and the R (resistance) is placed to the right. The line that divides the left and right sections indicate multiplication, and the divider between the top and bottom sections indicates division.