Ohm’s Law Calculator
Use Ohm’s law to calculate the voltage, current, resistance, or power in an electrical circuit. Enter any two known values to find the other two.
For example, enter voltage and wattage to find the current and resistance.
What is Ohm’s Law?
Ohm’s law defines the relationship between electric current, resistance, and voltage. More specifically, it states that the current through a circuit element is directly proportional to the potential difference applied to it and inversely proportional to the resistance.
For example, if you know the voltage and resistance, use the calculator above to find power and current using Ohm’s law. Alternatively, you can use the calculator to solve power and resistance if you know the voltage and current.
Ohm’s Law Formula
The Ohm’s law formula is I = E/R, where I is the current through a conductor measured in amperes, E is the potential difference across the conductor measured in volts, and R is the resistance of a conductor measured in ohms.
I = ER
The formula states that the current I is equal to the voltage E divided by the resistance R.
Ohm’s Law Triangle
The Ohm’s law triangle illustrates how to calculate voltage, current, or resistance. To use it, cover the unit you want to calculate to reveal the formula to solve it.
For instance, to solve for volts, cover the E with your thumb, which reveals that voltage is equal to I × R.
What do the Letters in the Ohm’s Law Formula Mean?
In the Ohm’s law formula, E represents electromotive force, or voltage, I represents intensity, or current, and R represents resistance.
Georg Simon Ohm created Ohm’s law in a paper published in 1827, well before voltage, current, and resistance units were defined.
It wasn’t until 1881 that the Volt, Ampere, and Ohm were defined, over 50 years after Ohm’s law was published. This explains why the letters are not related to modern-day units used in the formula.
The Power Formula
The power formula states that electric power measured in watts is equal to the circuit’s current times the voltage. This formula is very similar to Ohm’s law and can help solve for power or wattage.
We often use the power formula is in conjunction with Ohm’s law to solve electrical properties when the power of the circuit is known.
P = I × E
Thus, the power formula states that power P is equal to the current I times the voltage E.
The power triangle illustrates the formula to find watts, volts, or amps. Just like the other triangle, cover the unit you want to solve to reveal the formula to solve it.
For instance, to solve for amps, cover the I with your thumb, which reveals that the current is equal to P/E.
Our watts to amps calculator uses this formula to convert between power and current in electrical circuits, for example.
Ohm’s Law Wheel
We can use Ohm’s law to calculate the volts, watts, amps, or ohms, given that at least two measurements are known. The formula allows us to derive the equations for calculating any measurement given two other known values.
The Ohm’s law wheel shows all the formulas you can use to find volts, watts, amps, or ohms. See all of the derived formulas below.
Solve for voltage using these formulas:
Voltage = Current × Resistance
Voltage = Power ÷ Current
Voltage = Power × Resistance
Solve for power using these formulas:
Power = Voltage × Current
Power = Voltage2 ÷ Resistance
Power = Current2 × Resistance
Solve for current using these formulas:
Current = Voltage ÷ Resistance
Current = Power ÷ Voltage
Current = Power ÷ Resistance
Solve for resistance using these formulas:
Resistance = Voltage ÷ Current
Resistance = Voltage2 ÷ Power
Resistance = Power ÷ Current2
We use Ohm’s law for many things, such as determining the maximum microwave size or the maximum number of light fixtures a circuit can safely handle without creating a fire hazard.
Use Ohm’s law to help size an electrical circuit or find out how large of a heater can be safely used on a regular outlet. You might also find our voltage drop calculator to determine voltage drop, the minimum wire size needed, and the maximum wire length for your next electrical project.
- Brandon Mitchell, Robert Ekey, Roy McCullough, and William Reitz, A Fan-tastic Quantitative Exploration of Ohm’s law, https://aapt.scitation.org/doi/full/10.1119/1.5021431
- National Institute of Standards and Technology, Ampere: The Present, https://www.nist.gov/si-redefinition/ampere-present
- Encyclopeadia Britannica, Ohm's law, https://www.britannica.com/science/Ohms-law
- Mike Holt, Electrician’s Math and
Basic Electrical Formulas, https://www.mikeholt.com/instructor2/img/product/pdf/1302643872-sample.pdf