A resistor is an electronic component that is used to resist or oppose the flow of electric current in a circuit. It is a passive component, which means that it does not require any external power source to function.
Resistors are typically made of materials such as carbon, metal, or wire-wound materials. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are marked with a color code or numerical value that indicates their resistance. The unit of resistance is ohms, symbolized by the Greek letter omega (Ω).
Resistors are commonly used in electronic circuits to control the flow of current, limit the amount of current that flows through a circuit, and provide a specific voltage drop. They can also be used to divide voltage, generate heat, and perform other functions.
Overall, resistors are essential components in electronics and electrical engineering, and are used in a wide range of applications in devices such as computers, televisions, radios, and more.
Potentiometers, also known as variable resistors or rheostats, are resistors that can be adjusted to vary the amount of resistance in a circuit. These components are used in a variety of electronic applications, such as volume controls in audio equipment, dimmer switches for lights, and tuning controls in radios.
There are two main types of variable resistors: potentiometers and rheostats.
- Potentiometers: Potentiometers are variable resistors that have three terminals. The resistance between the outer two terminals is fixed, while the resistance between one of the outer terminals and the center terminal can be varied by turning a knob or dial. Potentiometers are commonly used as volume controls in audio equipment.
- Rheostats: Rheostats are variable resistors that have two terminals. The resistance between the terminals can be varied by turning a knob or dial. Rheostats are commonly used to control the brightness of lights or the speed of motors.
Variable resistors are typically made from a resistive material, such as carbon, and the resistance value can be changed by altering the length or width of the resistive material. The resistive element is mounted on a rotating shaft, and the resistance value is changed by rotating the shaft. The shaft is typically connected to a knob or dial that allows the user to adjust the resistance value.
Variable resistors come in a range of sizes and power ratings, depending on the application. They can be either linear or logarithmic in their resistance values, depending on the desired response of the circuit. Linear potentiometers have a linear response, meaning that the change in resistance is directly proportional to the change in position of the shaft. Logarithmic potentiometers, also known as audio-taper potentiometers, have a logarithmic response, meaning that the change in resistance is not linearly proportional to the change in position of the shaft, but instead provides a more gradual change in resistance at lower positions of the knob, allowing for more precise control at low volume levels.