Matter & Energy

Matter is composed of atoms or groups of atoms called molecules. The arrangement of particles in a material depends on the physical state of the substance. In a solid, particles form a compact structure that resists flow. Particles in a liquid have more energy than those in a solid. They can flow past one another, but they remain close. Particles in a gas have the most energy. They move rapidly and are separated from one another by relatively large distances.

Ohm’s Law

The relationship between current, voltage, and resistance is given by Ohm’s law. This law states that the amount of current passing through a conductor is directly proportional to the voltage across the conductor and inversely proportional to the resistance of the conductor. Ohm’s law can be expressed as an equation, V = IR, where V is the difference in volts between two locations (called the potential difference), I is the amount of current in amperes that is flowing between these two points, and R is the resistance in ohms of the conductor between the two locations of interest. V = IR can also be written R = V/I and I = V/R. If any two of the quantities are known, the third can be calculated. For example, if a potential difference of 110 volts sends a 10-amp current through a conductor, then the resistance of the conductor is R = V/I = 110/10 = 11 ohms. If V = 110 and R = 11, then I = V/R = 110/11 = 10 amp.

Under normal conditions, resistance is constant in conductors made of metal. If the voltage is raised to 220 in the example above, then R is still 11. The current I will be doubled, however, since I = V/R = 220/11 = 20 amp.