What is the Path of Least Resistance? 

In a series of alternate pathways, the direction of least resistance is the actual or metaphorical route that offers the least resistance to forwarding motion by a given individual or body.  

Least Resistance 

The definition is often used to explain whether an object or individual follows a certain direction. The flow of water is sometimes used as an example of the concept. That being said since electrons repel one another, the cumulative path of least resistance has approximately equal current flowing along each path. The reason for this is that three paths made of similarly conductive wire would have a cumulative resistance one-third that of a single direction. Finally, the current is often spread inversely proportional to resistance overall potential directions. 


A description of the Path of Least Resistance: The path of least resistance principle defines an object traveling down a path. The target chooses the shortest path to its destination. Object with the ability to pass, drive, toss, oscillate, or revolve. An object subjected to some kind of force decides the shortest distance or direction to take. This definition encompasses everything, including water, sound, and temperature. Finally, it is capable of determining some potential direction or route. 

Talking of some practical examples, in consideration of gravity, throwing an object upwards causes it to fall. It transfers heat from hot to cold bodies. However, there is no precise measurement. Similarly, in an electric circuit, current flows down a certain direction. Current flows in all directions that are open. The path of least resistance aids in the discovery of a simpler solution to a problem. It stops having to make tough choices. 

Robert fritz gave three insights for the path of least resistance: If a system is formed, energy flows into it along the path of least resistance, or in other words, the energy goes where it is easier for it to go. This is valid not only for cows but for all of nature. A river's water runs in the course of least resistance. The breeze blowing through Manhattan's asphalt canyons follows the direction of least resistance. 

The first insight will be one resemble a river. You take the course of least resistance in general. We both do – humans and nature alike. It is important to understand this. Your attempt to adjust the course of your own flow in some areas of your life, such as your eating habits, your work habits, how you react to others, how you handle yourself, and your attitudes toward life. You could even excel for a while. 

The second insight will be the direction of least resistance is determined by the fundamental nature of your life. The landscape around Boston dictated the path of least resistance for the cows to take, and just as a riverbed decides the course of the water running through it, the systems of your life decide your path of least resistance. 

These systems exist whether you are conscious of them or not. Whether or not there is water running down the canal, the composition remains the same. If a riverbed is stagnant, the stream will continue to flow in the same direction it has already taken because it is the only common route for it to follow. If the structural structures of your life remain intact, you are more likely to go on the same path your life has always taken. 

The third insight will be about the ability to alter the basic underlying mechanisms of your life. You can alter the simplest framework of your life and build the life you desire, just as engineers can change the course of a river by modifying the structure of the landscape so that the river flows where they want it to go. Besides that, until a new fundamental framework is in motion, the ultimate thrust of your life, such as the force of the river's current, surges to shape the outcomes you really desire. And the direct route to those outcomes becomes the direction of least resistance. In reality, with sufficient changes in the fundamental framework of your life, the road of least resistance cannot lead anywhere other than in the direction you really desire. 

Electricity and Resistance 

Electricity is related to the direction of least resistance. There would be a combined resistance for parallel routes. Ohm's law applies where voltage is produced. Whereas if paths were parallel, a combined resistance is created. The current is then determined by dividing the voltage by the resistance within each direction. Current is termed as the electric charge which flows from one point to another in a circuit. Voltage is termed as the potential difference in charge between two endpoints in an electrical field. Resistance is termed as the rate of opposition to the flow of current in an electrical circuit. It is measured in terms of ohms, omega (Ω). 

Present, whether natural or fault current, will still find a source. Electrical current can flow along all open pathways. It continues to find its way back to its origin. When there are several pathways for current to flow, it splits the direction. The resistance of each path, in fact, determines how much current flows on each path. The greater the opposition, the lower the current. 

Current flows in both directions. When energy follows the direction of least resistance, the resistance of the pathways varies. When one direction has a far higher resistance than the other, almost all of the current will pass into the other path. Resistance has the downside of wasting resources. 

In terms of water and temperature, the path of least resistance: Covers energy and strain in the context of water. When a tap is turned on, water comes out of the nozzle rather than the drain. When a rocket's fuel is burned, it escapes from the nozzle. This is due to the fact that everything takes the direction of least resistance. The path of least resistance in terms of temperature: the influence of heat on atomic material is to cause the atoms to vibrate. As the temperature rises to a certain point, molecules collide and further vibrations occur. The more collisions that occur, the greater the resistance to current traffic. 

"Electricity and resistance "


In terms of superconductivity, what happens when a metal is soaked in the newly accessible liquid helium? Physicists had three key concerns. The first was that the resistance would continue to decrease until it reached zero. The second was that conductivity would instead saturate at any low value so electrons would still scatter off impurities. The most common theory, however, was that the electrons would inevitably be trapped, resulting in infinite resistance, as expected by the emerging image of isolated, localized atomic orbitals. However, before anybody could be certain, researchers wanted a very pure metal sample. Researchers found that when liquid mercury was cooled to 4.2K of electrical resistance is the defining feature of superconductivity. 

Difficulties with superconductivity

The problem was that most early superconductors were basic elemental metals – or “type I,” as they are now called – with a superconducting state that existed just within a micron or so of their surface. The simplicity at which they were “normal” conductors discarded early hopes, expressed almost certainly by researchers, that superconductivity could revolutionize the electricity grid by enabling currents to be transported against loss of control. The usage of superconductors in magnets is restricted by the possibility that strong magnetic fields beyond a certain critical point, relying on the material, allow a superconductor to return to its natural, or non-superconducting, state, although the material is held far below the transition temperature. 

Path of Least Resistance and Superconductors 

In a superconductor, below a temperature called the “critical temperature”, the electric resistance very suddenly falls to zero. At zero resistance, the material conducts current perfectly. This is incomprehensible because the flaws and vibrations of the atoms should cause resistance in the material when the electrons flow through it. However, in a superconductor, the electric resistance is equal to zero although the flaws and vibrations still exist. 

The resistance is really equal to zero. The measurements taken over the course of several years show that the current never decreases. Even though the current is perpetual, it is not a violation of the thermodynamic laws (which forbids perpetual motion machines), because in this case no energy is created. The electric and magnetic energy is merely stored in the ring. 

The path of least resistance Without superconductivity, ITER would go from being a ''net energy positive'' machine to a ''net energy negative'' machine. Here, technicians at the Institute of Plasma Physics in Hefei, haul a model of ITER's superconducting correction coils.  

"Super conductors and critical temperature “]

Context and Applications   

This topic is significant in the professional exams for both undergraduate and graduate courses, especially for 

  • Bachelors in Science (Physics) 
  • Masters in Science (Physics) 
  • Bachelors in Engineering (Electronics) 

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