• ganeshie8
hi i am doing lec13 now. one question is troubling me from many days. im confused thinking of how charge gets distributed in a series network of resistors. imagine a series network with battery, and two resisters R1 and R2. 1) It is clear to me how battery creates potential difference by chemical reaction. It creates charge difference across its plates continuously. 2) It is also clear to me how charge gets uniformly distributed in a conductor. Now, since a resistor drops the potential from one end to other, there should be difference in charge density as we go from one end of the resistor to other, right ? how this actually happens... the charge distribution along the loop ? can somebody pls explain this clearly... without referring to QM ? [ i am believing "potential difference is an effect of electric field, which is an effect of net charge or charge difference" ]
MIT 8.02 Electricity and Magnetism, Spring 2002
  • schrodinger
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  • anonymous
[ i am believing "potential difference is an effect of electric field, which is an effect of net charge or charge difference" ] this is very true, but I think that in a resistor this is not the case in a resistor the electrons loss energy that goes to heat Imagine the potential difference is like a water fall, and the resistor is like somekind of friction, or rocks in the way of the water. the water that goes down will loss energy, like the electrons in a resistor (from collisns woth the atoms of the resistor). Basiclly charge will not build up on the resistor because we assume that the current is the same at all parts of a serial circuit, all the charge that is coming into the resistor will go out. this question is involving electricty with mechanics or thermodynmics. By the way, ohms law is also not a consequens of the laws of EM (maxwell eq) But it is an ampirical aproximation to what is going on inside the conductor (collisions). A very good question by the way! tnx, I hope it's a good anwser :)
  • ganeshie8
thanks... looks like i landed in confusions because i tried to visualize battery as some static space charge... with 1/r reducing potential from +ve terminal to -ve terminal :P so... electrons will not get accelerated - reason being collisions with atoms. another way of saying it is they lose potential energy due to collisions.. makes sense now... thanks :)
  • Elsa213

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