4. Resistance: Simple Definition (Simplified, Brief, Most Basic Meaning & Easy Explanation of Electrical Resistance)

What Is the Definition of Resistance in Science?


Before you can understand what electrical resistance is, please make sure you read my very short, easy-to-read article: What Is an Electrical Circuit?

Then, come back to EASILY understand the bare-bone basics of what resistance is.

Resistance (R) is a measure of how difficult it is for an electric current to flow through a material (like a wire).

Resistance affects the speed, strength, and duration of an electric current. The higher the resistance, the harder it is for electricity to flow.

For example, a piece of wood has a much higher electrical resistance than a copper wire. Also, a thick copper wire will have less resistance than a thin copper wire.

Every electrical load or conductor has an internal resistance, which is measured in ohms (Ω) and can be measured with a special type of electrical probe called an ohmmeter (Amazon). The higher the number of ohms, the more the material has resistance.

What Causes Resistivity?

There are a few factors that affect electrical resistance.

The first is the length of the conductor. The longer the conductor, the higher the resistance will be. For example, there are more opportunities for electrons to collide as they travel down the wire.

The second factor is the diameter of the conductor. For example, a thicker wire has less resistance than a thin wire because there are fewer collisions taking place.

The third factor is the temperature of a conductor. The higher the temperature of a conductor, the higher its resistance will be.

Finally, the type of material also affects electrical resistance. Metals have low resistance, while non-metals have high resistance.

Example of Resistance

The resistance of a wire greatly depends on the material from which it is made.

For example, copper wires have a lower electrical resistance than aluminum wires. This is why copper is often used for electrical wiring, while aluminum is used for things like soda cans and foil.

What Is Resistance & Its Function?

One common application of electrical resistance is in heating elements. When an electric current flows through the element, it heats up and generates heat. This heat is then used to warm up something like a room or a pot of water.

Resistance is also used in electrical circuits to control the amount of current that flows through them. By adding resistance to a circuit, you can reduce the amount of current that passes through it. This can be useful for protecting electronic components from damage or for controlling how much power is drawn from a battery.

Overview: What Is Resistance? (Easy Definition)

Resistance (R) is the property of a material that hinders the ability of an electric current to flow.

In other words, electric resistance is a measure of how difficult it is for electricity to flow through a material. Resistance is measured in ohms and can be increased by adding resistors (Amazon) to a circuit.

It is important to understand electric resistance when designing circuits, as it can affect the overall performance of the circuit.

Next Up…

  1. What Is an Electric Circuit?
  2. What Is an Electric Current (Amps)?
  3. What Is Voltage (Volts)?
  4. What Is Electrical Resistance?
  5. What’s the Difference Between AC and DC?
  6. What Are Watts?
  7. What Is Watt-Hour & Amp-Hour?