resistor

resistor, two-terminal electric circuit component that offers opposition to an electric current. Resistors are normally designed and operated so that, with varying levels of current, variations of their resistance values are negligible (see resistance). They are available in several common forms: wirewound resistors are formed from windings of fine wire; film resistors, commonly found in consumer electronic devices, use lengths of carbon or metal film deposited on a resistive base; and carbon-composition resistors use a bonded mass of carbon powder with a phenolic binder. Some resistors are made so that their values can be adjusted (see potentiometer; rheostat). Resistors absorb power from a circuit and convert it into heat; they are normally rated for the maximum amount of power that they can safely handle. Special resistors are also produced for the integrated circuit.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on resistor from Fact Monster:

  • ELECTRONICS - Electronics goes beyond simple electricity. Using the TRANSISTOR and other COMPONENTS, such as resistors and capacitors, electronics allows us to cont
  • potentiometer - potentiometer. potentiometer. 1. Manually adjustable, variable, electrical resistor. It has a ...
  • heating - heating heating, means of making a building comfortably warm relative to a colder outside ...
  • John Pierce - Pierce, John Pierce, John, 1910–2002, American electrical engineer, b. Des Moines, Iowa, ...
  • printed circuit - printed circuit printed circuit, electric circuit in which the conducting paths connecting circuit ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Electrical Engineering