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Understanding Resistors: A Beginner's Guide to Electronics

Resistors might seem like an insignificant component, but they play a vital role in every electronic device you own. From controlling the flow of electricity to protecting sensitive components from damage, resistors are an essential part of any circuit. But what exactly are resistors, and how do they work? In this beginner's guide to electronics, we'll dive into the world of resistors and demystify these crucial components.



What are resistors?


Resistors are a key component in any circuit, whether it's an electronic device or a simple light bulb. They limit current flow and also act as voltage dividers.


Resistors are used to protect circuits from overcurrent or overvoltage, which can damage the components of a circuit if not properly protected. Resistors are not the same as capacitors or inductors; they only have one purpose: to restrict current flow through them by using electrical resistance (the opposition to electron flow).


Resistance, conductance and ohms


When current flows through a material, it encounters resistance. The amount of this opposition (the extent to which current is slowed down) depends on the material's physical properties and its length. The unit for measuring resistance is called an ohm (symbolized as ). Resistance decreases as you go from platinum to copper to silver; conversely, it increases as you go from copper back up through platinum again.


The reciprocal of resistance is called conductance. You can think of conductance as being similar to "how easy" something conducts electricity--if something has high conductivity then it will allow electricity through easily; if something has low conductivity then it will not let electricity pass through at all (or very little).



Fixed vs variable resistors


The first type of resistor you'll encounter is the fixed resistor. Fixed resistors are designed to have a specific value and do not change over time. They come in a variety of sizes, ranging from tiny surface-mount components up through large power resistors used in industrial applications.


Variable resistors (also known as potentiometers or trimmers) are another type of component that can be used to create circuits by limiting current flow through them when they're turned on by applying voltage at either end of their terminals (or both). This allows you to change how much resistance there is between two points on your circuit--and thus control voltage or current levels within it--by turning knobs attached directly onto the variable resistor itself!


Variable resistors are often used alongside microcontrollers because they allow users who don't know how electronics work yet still want control over certain aspects within their projects without having too much knowledge about how things work behind-the-scenes; however these components tend not only cost more than standard ones but require extra steps before using them properly due their complicated nature."


How to read resistor color codes


To read a resistor, you'll need to know its value and color code. The value is represented by the first two digits of the three-digit code. For example:


The third digit represents the multiplier for those two numbers (i.e., 1). So if your resistor has a value of 100K and it's black/white/black, then it's actually 10KOhms because 100,000 multiplied by 1 equals 10,000; this means that there are ten thousand ohms in each 1000-ohm unit. To determine what size resistor you need for your project, look up its required resistance on this chart:


Resistors in circuits


Resistors are used to limit current, control voltage and flow of electrons in a circuit. Resistors also measure voltage, current and resistance. They protect other components from high voltages by absorbing excess energy when there is an imbalance between power supply and load.



Now that you've gained a deeper understanding of resistors, you're one step closer to mastering the fundamentals of electronics. If you're ready to start working with real resistors, you'll be happy to know that every 3D Circuitry kit includes high-quality resistors and all the tools you need to start creating your own electronic projects. Start exploring the world of electronics with 3D Circuitry today! Ethan

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