This mobile-friendly computational model lets students explore resistance in a wire. It presents the Resistivity Equation and allows you to change the values for resistivity, length of the wire, and cross-sectional area to see how each variable affects resistance. In addition, learners will form a deeper understanding of the difference between resistance and resistivity. Written in HTML5

This item is part of a larger collection of materials developed and maintained by the Physics Education Technology project (PhET) based on principles of physics education research.

Editor's Note:The three variables that primarily determine the resistance in a wire are: 1) Length of the wire, 2) Cross-sectional area of the wire, and 3) Resistivity -- the property of a material to oppose the flow of electric current (measured in Ohms). Various materials have a broad range of resistivity values.See Link Below to compare values for different materials: Resistivity Table

See Related Materials for a high-quality tutorial from Hyperphysics to help students differentiate resistance from resistivity.

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Types of Interactions (PS2.B)

Attraction and repulsion between electric charges at the atomic scale explain the structure, properties, and transformations of matter, as well as the contact forces between material objects. (9-12)

Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity (3-12)

Algebraic thinking is used to examine scientific data and predict the effect of a change in one variable on another (e.g., linear growth vs. exponential growth). (9-12)

Structure and Function (K-12)

The functions and properties of natural and designed objects and systems can be inferred from their overall structure, the way their components are shaped and used, and the molecular substructures of its various materials. (9-12)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)

Analyzing data in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency, and the use of models to generate and analyze data. (9-12)

Analyze data using computational models in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims. (9-12)

Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking (5-12)

Mathematical and computational thinking at the 9–12 level builds on K–8 and progresses to using algebraic thinking and analysis, a range of linear and nonlinear functions including trigonometric functions, exponentials and logarithms, and computational tools for statistical analysis to analyze, represent, and model data. Simple computational simulations are created and used based on mathematical models of basic assumptions. (9-12)

Use mathematical representations of phenomena or design solutions to describe and/or support claims and/or explanations. (9-12)

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

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2A. Patterns and Relationships

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2B. Mathematics, Science, and Technology

9-12: 2B/H3. Mathematics provides a precise language to describe objects and events and the relationships among them. In addition, mathematics provides tools for solving problems, analyzing data, and making logical arguments.

9. The Mathematical World

9B. Symbolic Relationships

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12. Habits of Mind

12B. Computation and Estimation

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Common Core State Standards for Mathematics Alignments

Standards for Mathematical Practice (K-12)

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High School — Algebra (9-12)

Seeing Structure in Expressions (9-12)

A-SSE.2 Use the structure of an expression to identify ways to rewrite it.

Creating Equations^{?} (9-12)

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PhET. PhET: Resistance in a Wire. Boulder: PhET, October 31, 2015. https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/resistance-in-a-wire (accessed 18 July 2019).

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