# Resistance vs. Resistivity: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 19, 2023
Resistance is a material's opposition to the flow of electric current; resistivity is an intrinsic property of a material determining its resistance.

## Key Differences

Resistance is the measure of how a component, device, or material opposes the flow of electric current. It's an extrinsic property, meaning it depends on the material itself, as well as the dimensions and shape of the object. Resistivity, on the other hand, is an intrinsic property of a material that quantifies how strongly it resists or conducts electrical current.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
Resistivity is unaffected by the shape or size of the material. While resistance is influenced by factors such as length, cross-sectional area, and temperature, resistivity remains constant for a specific material under specific conditions.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
This distinction between resistance and resistivity is crucial for understanding the behavior of electrical circuits and materials. Knowing the resistivity of a material can help in determining its overall resistance when shaped into a particular form or structure.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

## Comparison Chart

### Definition

Opposition to the flow of electric current.
Material's intrinsic property determining how it resists or conducts electric current.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

### Dependence

Depends on material, length, cross-sectional area, and temperature.
Depends only on the material and is constant for a specific material under specific conditions.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

### Units

Measured in Ohms (Ω).
Measured in Ohm-meters (Ω.m) or Ohm-centimeters (Ω.cm).
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

### Factors Affecting

Influenced by length, cross-sectional area, and temperature of the material.
Unaffected by shape or size of the material.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

### Type of Property

Extrinsic property.
Intrinsic property.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

## Resistance and Resistivity Definitions

#### Resistance

Opposition of a conductor to electric current flow.
The wire has a high resistance, causing the bulb to glow dimly.
Huma Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

#### Resistivity

Parameter that determines how strongly a material opposes the flow of electric current.
Silver has one of the lowest resistivities among metals.
Huma Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

#### Resistance

Measure of how a device or material impedes the flow of electricity.
Using materials with low resistance can improve energy efficiency.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

#### Resistivity

Measure of a material's ability to resist electric current per unit length and unit cross-sectional area.
Engineers often refer to resistivity charts when selecting materials for specific applications.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

#### Resistance

Force that diminishes the effectiveness of electric current.
Resistance in the circuit led to a drop in voltage.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

#### Resistivity

Intrinsic resistance of a material to electric current, irrespective of its size or shape.
Materials with low resistivity are often used for making electrical wires.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

#### Resistance

Property of a circuit or component that determines the current flow for a given voltage.
A resistor is designed to provide specific resistance in electronic circuits.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

#### Resistivity

Material's inherent property that quantifies its resistance to electric current.
The resistivity of copper makes it an excellent conductor of electricity.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

#### Resistance

Electrical friction preventing electric charge flow.
The increased resistance in the old device caused it to overheat.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

#### Resistivity

Constant for a material that relates its resistance to its dimensions.
The resistivity of insulating materials is very high.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

#### Resistance

The act or an instance of resisting or the capacity to resist.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 06, 2019

#### Resistivity

The capacity for or tendency toward resistance.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 06, 2019

#### Resistance

A force that tends to oppose or retard motion.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 06, 2019

#### Resistivity

(Electricity) An intrinsic property of a material that is measured as its resistance to current per unit length for a uniform cross section.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 06, 2019

#### Resistivity

(electricity) The resistance offered at a particular temperature by an electrical conductor of any given material in a cube of unit length, expressed in ohm-metres (Ωm) in the metric system of measurement.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 06, 2019

#### Resistivity

(thermodynamics) The reciprocal of thermal conductivity, having SI unit: m K W-1
Sumera Saeed
Oct 06, 2019

#### Resistivity

A material's opposition to the flow of electric current; measured in ohms
Sumera Saeed
Oct 06, 2019

## FAQs

#### Is resistivity affected by the shape of the material?

No, resistivity is an intrinsic property and is unaffected by the material's shape or size.
Huma Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

#### What does resistance measure in a circuit?

Resistance measures how a component or material opposes the flow of electric current in a circuit.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

#### In which units is resistivity typically measured?

Resistivity is typically measured in Ohm-meters (Ω.m) or Ohm-centimeters (Ω.cm).
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

#### Can resistance change with temperature?

Yes, resistance can change with temperature depending on the material.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

#### What factors can affect resistance in a material?

Resistance can be affected by factors like length, cross-sectional area, material type, and temperature.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

#### Are materials with high resistivity always insulators?

Typically, materials with high resistivity are insulators, but resistivity is just one factor determining insulating properties.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

#### Is resistance always a negative factor in circuits?

Not always. Resistance can be purposefully introduced, as with resistors, to control current flow or voltage.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

#### Are resistance and resistivity directly proportional?

They are related. Resistance is proportional to resistivity, but it also depends on the length and cross-sectional area of the material.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

#### Does resistance always produce heat in a circuit?

Yes, when electric current flows through resistance, it generates heat due to the Joule heating effect.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

#### Can a material's resistance and resistivity be equal?

They can be numerically equal in specific cases, but they represent different electrical properties and have different units.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

#### Why is knowing the resistivity of a material important?

Knowing resistivity helps in determining a material's overall resistance when formed into a particular shape or structure.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

#### How can one reduce resistance in a wire?

By increasing its cross-sectional area or using a material with a lower resistivity.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

#### Which has a higher resistivity: plastic or metal?

Plastic typically has a much higher resistivity than metal.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

#### Can resistivity change with temperature?

Yes, resistivity can change with temperature for many materials.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

#### Why do wires with lower resistance conduct better?

Wires with lower resistance allow more electric current to flow through them with less energy loss.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

#### How is resistance different from resistivity?

Resistance is the opposition to current flow in a specific object, while resistivity is an inherent property of a material that determines its resistance.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

#### What role does resistivity play in designing electrical systems?

Knowing a material's resistivity helps in choosing the right materials for specific electrical applications.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

#### How are resistance and length of a conductor related?

Resistance is directly proportional to the length of a conductor, given its resistivity and cross-sectional area are constant.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

#### Why are metals generally good conductors of electricity?

Metals usually have low resistivity, which means they have low resistance to electric current.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

#### Can two materials have the same resistivity?

Yes, different materials can have the same resistivity, but they might differ in other electrical properties.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023