Ohm's LawFor many conductors of electricity, the electric current which will flow through them is directly proportional to the voltage applied to them. When a microscopic view of Ohm's law is taken, it is found to depend upon the fact that the drift velocity of charges through the material is proportional to the electric field in the conductor. The ratio of voltage to current is called the resistance, and if the ratio is constant over a wide range of voltages, the material is said to be an "ohmic" material. If the material can be characterized by such a resistance, then the current can be predicted from the relationship: Data can be entered into any of the boxes below. Specifying any two of the quantities determines the third. After you have entered values for two, click on the text representing to third in the active illustration above to calculate its value.

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Voltage LawThe voltage changes around any closed loop must sum to zero. No matter what path you take through an electric circuit, if you return to your starting point you must measure the same voltage, constraining the net change around the loop to be zero. Since voltage is electric potential energy per unit charge, the voltage law can be seen to be a consequence of conservation of energy. The voltage law has great practical utility in the analysis of electric circuits. It is used in conjunction with the current law in many circuit analysis tasks.

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Current LawThe electric current in amperes which flows into any junction in an electric circuit is equal to the current which flows out. This can be seen to be just a statement of conservation of charge. Since you do not lose any charge during the flow process around the circuit, the total current in any crosssection of the circuit is the same. Along with the voltage law, this law is a powerful tool for the analysis of electric circuits.

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