Sign convention for passive components | Electrical engineering | Khan Academy | Summary and Q&A

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May 12, 2016
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Sign convention for passive components | Electrical engineering | Khan Academy

TL;DR

Passive components do not create or amplify power. The sign convention for these components dictates the labeling of voltage and current to ensure correct application of Ohm's law.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How are passive components defined?

Passive components are those that neither create power nor amplify signals, such as resistors, capacitors, and inductors.

Q: Can a battery be considered a passive component?

Yes, although it provides power, a battery is considered a passive component because it cannot amplify a signal.

Q: According to the sign convention, how is the current labeled when a positive voltage is applied to a resistor?

When the positive voltage is applied to a resistor, the current flows from the positive end to the negative end of the resistor.

Q: How is the current labeled when a resistor is oriented sideways?

Regardless of the orientation, the current still flows into the positive terminal or the positive end of the resistor.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Passive components such as resistors, capacitors, and inductors do not create or amplify power.

  • The sign convention for passive components determines the direction of current flow based on the labeling of voltage.

  • In the case of a resistor, the current flows from the positive voltage end to the negative voltage end.

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