These circuits are named as dividers because they produce fraction of the input (current or voltage).
Voltage dividers:
+ v2

A voltage divider is an isolated loop that contains two or more resistors and a voltage source in series. Now analyzing the above circuit: The three element laws are v0 = V v1= R1 * i1 v2 = R2 * i2 The application of KCL to the nodes gives i0 = i1 i1 = i2 The application of KVL to the loop yields, v0 + v1 + v2 = 0
Solving the above equations, we get i0 = i1 = i2 = 1/ (R1 + R2) * V v1 = R1/ (R1+R2) * V v2 = R2/ (R1+R2) * V The voltagedivider relationship in terms of conductance can be found by Conductance = G =1/R v2 = (1/G2)/ (1/G1+1/G2) v2 = G1/ (G1 + G2) Example: Voltage Divider
Given: V = 10 volts, R2 = 1k Ohm To find: R1 such that v2 = 10% V Solution: v2 = 10% V v2 =0.1 * 10 v2=1 volt Since voltage divider relationship for v2 is given as v2 = R2/ (R1 + R2) * V Putting the values in the equation, we get 1=1k/ (R1 + 1k) * 10
R1+1k=10k R1=9k Ohm Note: for the voltage drop of interest (say v2), take the associated resistance, divide by the sum of resistance and multiply by the voltage across the resistances (this method is for one loop circuit only)
Current dividers:
A current divider is a circuit with two nodes joining two or more parallel resistors and a current source. Consider the above current divider circuit The three element laws are i0 =  I v1 = i1 * R1 v2 = i2 * R2 Now applying KCL to node 1 i0 + i1 + i2 = 0 Now applying KVL to the tow internal loop yields v0 = v1 v1 = v2 Solving the above equations, we get
i1 = R2/ (R1 + R2) * I i2 = R1 / (R1 + R2) * I v0 = v1 = v2 = R1 * R2/ (R1 + R2) * I Since Conductance = G = 1/ R i1 = G1/ (G1 + G2) * I i2 = G2/ (G1 + G2) * I Note: the two resistors divides the current I in proportion to their conductance i1/ i2 = G1/ G2 If G1 is twice G2 the i1 is twice i2 The power dissipated is given as P=i*v Where I is current through the resistor and v is the voltage applied across it So, power dissipated by r1 is given as PR1 = i1 * v1 PR1 = i1 * i1 * R1 PR1 = i12 * R1 PR1 = R1 * R22 * I2/ (R1 + R2)2 Similarly, for R2 PR2=R12 * R2 * I2/ (R1 + R2)2 And the power dissipated by current source is i0 * v0 =  R1 * R2 * I2/ (R1 + R2) Negative sign shows that power is generated by the current source.