The rock and ice mechanics lab at Lamont-Doherty is led by PIs Heather Savage, Christine McCarthy and Ben Holtzman. We are in the process of growing our lab and building our experimental program. Along with a team of postdocs, undergrads, grads, and longtime staff engineer Ted, we are rehabilitating and revamping some of the old equipment and building new rigs for exciting new experiments on both rock and ice. You can follow along with our progress here.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Resistors 101

So what do you know about resistors? I thought I knew a lot. I knew that they were the little nubby balls connected to two wires and soldered to a circuit board. I knew that they were the squiggly lines on a circuit diagram and are used to control the current in the system. What I didn't know was just how many different kinds (shapes, sizes, range of values) of these things were available. Now I know this all too well.

Today's project was to consolidate the lab's various collections of resistors. Specifically, we were taking the ones in these green metal drawers and putting them with those of matching resistance in these little plastic drawers.

Which often meant reading the teeny tiny numbers on each individual resistor in the drawer. I learned that not only do we have resistors for every value from 10 ohms to 10 megaohms, we also have multiple brands and sizes for each.
These three different resistors offer the same resistance but have different size beads (RN55, RN60, and RN65, in case you are curious).

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