A rheostat is a variable resistor, which is used to control the flow of electric current by manually increasing or decreasing the resistance. The English scientist Sir Charles Wheatstone coined the word rheostat, it is derived from the Greek word “rheos” and “-statis” which means a stream controlling device or current controlling device.
What is rheostat?
The electric current flowing through an electrical circuit is determined by two factors: the amount of voltage applied and the total resistance of the electrical circuit. If we reduce the circuit resistance, the flow of electric current through the circuit will be increased. On the other hand, if we increase the circuit resistance, the flow of electric current through the circuit will be decreased.
By placing the rheostat in the electrical circuit, we can control (increase or decrease) the flow…show more content… In these types of resistors, the wiper or slider moves in a linear manner. Linear rheostats are used in laboratories of doing research and teaching.
Difference between potentiometer and rheostat
The construction of both the potentiometer and rheostat is same. The main difference is the way we used it for operation. In potentiometers, we use all the three terminals for performing the operation whereas in rheostats, we use only two terminals for performing the operation.
Applications of rheostat
Rheostat is generally used in the applications where high voltage or current is required.
Rheostats are used in dim lights to change the intensity of light. If we increase the resistance by using rheostat, the electric current flow through the light bulb decreases. As a result, the light brightness decreases. In the similar way, if we decrease the resistance by using rheostat, the electric current flow through the light bulb increases. As a result, the light brightness