AP Physics 1 Question 154: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 154


Question below refers to the circuit shown in the figure, which includes a 9 V battery and three resistors.

Which of the following ranks the resistors by the charge that flows through each in a given time interval?

  • A. 300 Ω > 100 Ω = 50 Ω
  • B. 50 Ω > 100 Ω > 300 Ω
  • C. 300 Ω > 100 Ω > 50 Ω
  • D. 50 Ω = 100 Ω > 300 Ω

Correct Answer: D


D-"Charge that flows through each in a given time interval" is a complicated way of saying "current." Current through series resistors must always be the same through each, so the 50 Ω resistor and the 100 Ω resistor should rank equally. Then simplify the circuit to two parallel branches. The left branch has an equivalent resistance of 150 Ω and the right branch of 300 Ω. With the same voltage across each branch, the larger current goes through the path with smaller resistance by Ohm's law.