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Voltage Divider

The voltage divider (also known as the potential divider) is a basic but very important electric circuit used to convert a high voltage to a small value in electronics. Voltage dividers are often used to decrease the size of a voltage or provide a reference voltage. They may also be used as a signal attenuator at low frequencies. Let’s study this in more detail.In electric circuits,…

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Voltage Divider

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Jetzt kostenlos anmeldenThe voltage divider (also known as the potential divider) is a basic but very important **electric circuit used to convert a high voltage to a small value** in electronics. Voltage dividers are often used to decrease the size of a voltage or provide a reference voltage. They may also be used as a signal attenuator at low frequencies. Let’s study this in more detail.

In electric circuits, the **voltage divider rule is**** used to decrease or increase ****the voltage levels** of a source. This is an important concept, especially when creating increasingly complicated circuits. Engineers use this rule to analyse resistance and optimise electronic equipment.

An example diagram of a voltage divider circuit, Oğulcan Tezcan – Vaia Originals

So, how is the voltage divider rule applied to electric circuits? Look at the diagram above: there is n number of resistors, and we want to take the voltage output from R_{1}, so we want to calculate the voltage value of R_{1}. The formula for finding the voltage value of R_{1 }(V_{R}_{1}) is

\[V_{R1} = \frac{R_1}{R_1+R_2+...+R_N} \cdot V\]

Let’s break this down:

- Recall that the current of the resistors connected in series is the same.
- Because of Ohm’s law, we have \(
**V = I \cdot R****\)** - So if I
**d****irectly proportional**to the resistance value R. - In the above formula, the voltage value of a resistor is equal to the resistance value of the component divided by the total resistance and multiplied by the voltage value of the source

In the circuit below, the given values for the resistors are R_{1 }= 3Ω, R_{2} = 7Ω, and R_{3} = 5Ω. Find the output voltage (V_{o}).

An example diagram of a voltage divider circuit, Oğulcan Tezcan – Vaia Originals

**Solution**

We take the output voltage **(V**_{o}**)** from the **R**** _{3}** resistor’s poles, which means it will be the same value as

\[V_0 = V_{R3} = \frac{R_3}{R_1+R_2+R_3} \cdot V\]

\[V_{R3} = \frac{5 \Omega }{3 \Omega+7 \Omega+5 \Omega} \cdot 30V\]

From this calculation, we can find the output voltage:

\[V_0 = V_{R3} = 10 V\]

In some sources, you may see that the voltage divider circuit is a little more simplistic. To help you feel comfortable with both voltage divider diagram types, let’s look at another example below.

In the circuit below, the given value for the input voltage (V_{in}) is 20 volts and the given values for the resistors are R_{1} = 5Ω and R_{2} = 5Ω. Find the value of the output voltage (V_{o}).

An example diagram of a voltage divider circuit, Oğulcan Tezcan – Vaia Originals

**Solution**

To solve a question in this diagram style, you must first understand what it represents. This is a complete loop circuit, and it is shown below.

An example diagram of a voltage divider circuit, Oğulcan Tezcan – Vaia Originals

The point shown as **V _{in} **in the first diagram shows the positive pole of the voltage source, and the ground resembles that the circuit is a loop connecting to the negative pole of the source

\[V_0 = \frac{R_2}{R_2+R_1} \cdot V_{in}\]

Let’s put the values in their correct places in the equation:

\[V_0 = \frac{5 \Omega}{5 \Omega + 5\Omega} \cdot 20V\]

\[V_0 = 10V\]

Voltage dividers are used to control the level of a signal and to test voltages. They are also used for the bias of active components in amplifiers. Voltage dividers are found in **multimeters **as well.

Although there are many types of voltmeters for different levels of voltage measurement, if the voltage value to be measured is too big, it can’t be done with a voltmeter alone. This is where voltage dividers come into play: the voltage is applied across the voltage divider, and then the voltage output, which is the **lowered ****amount of voltage**, will be measured by a voltmeter. For the final step, the measured voltage is multiplied by the **factor **that the input voltage was lowered by.

A **microcontroller **can read the resistance value of a sensor using voltage dividers. A voltage divider is formed by wiring the sensor in series with a known resistance and applying a fixed voltage across the divider. The analogue-to-digital converter on the microcontroller is linked to the divider’s centre tap. This is so that it can read the tap voltage and calculate the sensor resistance using the observed voltage and determined resistance and voltage.

Voltage dividers are also used as logic level shifters. Logic level shifters connect two logic circuits in series to each other.

Some logic circuits operate at **5V, **and others operate at **3.3V**. Let’s say we are going to connect two circuits in series to each other:

- The first one operates at 5V. This means its
**input and output voltage will be****5V**. - The second one operates at 3.3V, which means its
**input and output voltage will be****3.3V**.

If we connect these two circuits directly, the first circuit’s output of 5V can damage the second circuit over time because its input value is 3.3V.** **However, the problem will be solved if we connect a voltage divider circuit with an **output ratio of** **3.3/5** serial between these two circuits.

- In electronics, a voltage divider is a fundamental and important electric circuit that is used to transform a large voltage into a smaller value.
- Voltage dividers are used to control the level of a signal and to test voltages. They are also used for the bias of active components in amplifiers.
- Voltage dividers are used in sensor measurement, high voltage measurement, and logic level shifting.
- The output voltage of a voltage divider can be found from the resistance value of the output component divided by the total series resistance and multiplied by the voltage value of the source.

A voltage divider is used to scale up or scale down the voltage of a source for different purposes.

You can build a voltage divider using two resistors connected in series and an input voltage.

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