Electrical resistance and conductance | ohm's law

Ohm's law

The current-voltage characteristics of four devices: Two resistors, a diode, and a battery. The horizontal axis is voltage drop, the vertical axis is current. Ohm's law is satisfied when the graph is a straight line through the origin. Therefore, the two resistors are ohmic, but the diode and battery are not.

For many materials, the current I through the material is proportional to the voltage V applied across it:

over a wide range of voltages and currents. Therefore, the resistance and conductance of objects or electronic components made of these materials is constant. This relationship is called Ohm's law, and materials which obey it are called ohmic materials. Examples of ohmic components are wires and resistors. The current-voltage (IV) graph of an ohmic device consists of a straight line through the origin with positive slope.

Other components and materials used in electronics do not obey Ohm's law; the current is not proportional to the voltage, so the resistance varies with the voltage and current through them. These are called nonlinear or nonohmic. Examples include diodes and fluorescent lamps. The IV curve of a nonohmic device is a curved line.

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