What is the difference between a switch and a resistor?
A switch creates an opening in a circuit. A circuit will only work if it is closed (continuity from the positive terminal of the source, input and output of each component and return to the negative terminal). A switch interrupts this continuity.
a resistance allows the current to cross it, but slows it down in a certain way. it narrows the path of the electrons so that the total current decreases in a closed circuit.
In short, a switch creates an open circuit and a resistor reduces the current in a closed circuit.
There are two types (actually three) of materials used in electricity.
conductors allow electricity to circulate easily and with very few obstacles. they are usually metals such as copper, aluminum, gold, silver, lead, brass, nickel, chromium, tin, zinc and metal alloys such as bronze, phosphorous bronze, steel and carbon steel.
Insulants are compounds that prevent the flow of electricity, such as ceramics, glass, wood and plastics.
there is a third type of material, which lies between insulators and conductors, when they are made from a certain crystalline structure such as silicon or other fused sands, then purified in an oven and modified with some metals such as arsenic or chlorine, or other acids and reagents, this modifies the pure crystal, so it has different characteristics.
these are the “semiconductors”. they could have been called “semi-insulators”, but that would not have sounded so well with the use.
in the group of metals is another element, which has a unique characteristic, which when deposited on an insulating form of ceramic composition, and when the vacuum is deposited on the ceramic, and then having a fixed spiral shape cut into the film, gives a definitive definition. and a consistent material which is neither a conductor nor an insulator. These devices then hinder electricity by a known temperature curve and constitute the outgrowth of the manufacture of tungsten wire, where nickel and chromium, once alloyed, have a definite resistance by length and by diameter.
These are termed wire resistors and have a fixed resistance, but are usually reserved for high current applications.
When these devices, the resistors are connected to a power source, of any type, they will inhibit the flow of electricity. how much they do this is given by the law of ohms.
they will also release heat and are therefore evaluated according to the amount of energy (in watts) that they will dissipate with their shape and, if necessary, will have to be glued mechanically on a product ‘heat sink’ which will dissipate more heat, so that the resistance does not show thermal leakage. On the other hand, a switch has only two conditions, either an open circuit or a closed circuit. there is no intermediary like that with semiconductors and resistors.