What are resistors? Resistors are small electrical systems used to help control the amount of resistance in an electrical circuit. If this sounds a little confusing to you, imagine it like this. Imagine driving fast in a parking lot. Once your car hits a speed bump, it slows down. A resistor controls the amount of resistance in a circuit while a speed bump controls the speed of a moving car. With every electric circuit you made, there will always be resistance present. So having a resistor or two in a circuit is essential to the circuit’s function. Resistors are usually made out of metal wires, carbon, or metal oxide film. The resistor is built by having an insulator or any time of insulating material wrapped around a wire. These essential devices are called passive components in a circuit, they take energy yet never produce any back. While resistors can be found in a lamp circuit, they can not be used to produce light. Instead of creating light, resistors create heat. After using your laptop for a while, you have probably noticed that your laptop has started to overheating. The heat is from the resistors in your laptop, working hard to make sure your laptop has the right amount of resistance in it. The heat from resistors can be so unbearable for the other electrical parts. Many computer companies have put in fans to control the temperature of overheating laptops. Without a fan like this the resistor heat can cause internal damage to the computers.
There are a few types of resistors, they might be called standard, static, or a special resistor that comes in a pack. Those that are in a pack are called “Resistor Arrays’, and are usually set up as voltage dividers in circuits. The most common type of resistor is called the “Carbon film resistor”, and can be found in very simple electric circuits. The electrical resistance in a resistor is measured in Ohms, or ? the greek letter for Omega. In a schematic symbol, a resistor would look like a rectangle with two lines coming out of it or a straight line with a “squiggle” in between it. When looking at a schematic design of an electric circuit, looking at a squiggle with lines coming out of it is just the common design for a resistor. Resistors are very important compounds to any electric circuit, they are essential to the circuit’s ability to function correctly.