# Electrical Circuits. Ammeter Light Bulb Ohmmeter. Power Supply Resistor Voltmeter. Symbols for Electrical Components.

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1 Physical Science 101 Electrical Circuits Name Partner s Name Purpose To learn how to measure resistance, voltage, and current using a multimeter. To become familiar with the basic components of simple electrical circuits and Ohm's law. Equipment one (1) 1.5 Volt battery, one (1) round bulb, one (1) commercial resistor (100 to 2000 ohm range), connection wires, three (3) banana lead wires with alligator clips, extra 1.0 amp fuse, one (1) digital multimeter. Ammeter Light Bulb Ohmmeter + V Power Supply Resistor Voltmeter Figure 1 Symbols for Electrical Components. Part 1 Resistance Measurement Kilo (K) 1000 (10 3 ) thousand Mega (M) (10 6 ) million mlli (m) (10-3 ) thousandth micro (µ) (10-6 ) millionth nano (n) (10-9 ) billionth Table 1. Common prefixes for the metric system Objective: Learn how to use an ohm meter to measure resistance of a resistor and continuity of a circuit. 1. Set the multimeter up to act as an ohmmeter. Plug one lead into the V Ω slot and the other into the Com. Turn the dial to the section marked Ω, The Greek letter omega (Ω) is the symbol for ohms which is the unit of electrical resistance most commonly used. An ohmmeter is used to measure electrical resistance. Note Whenever you use an ohmmeter make sure that the resistor is disconnected from the circuit. This will insure that your measured value of resistance is accurate and that the ohmmeter will not be damaged by inadvertently connecting it to a power supply (or battery). 1

2 2. Place alligator clips on the ends of the leads and connect the ohmmeter to the commercial resistor by clamping down one lead on each side of the resistor. 3. Measure the resistance of the commercial resistor. Adjust the ohmmeter range to get the best measurement. A reading of 1. (1 followed by blank spaces and a decimal point) is an outof-range indication. This means that the resistance is larger than the dial setting of the meter. Turn the dial to the next setting up and if this gives a numerical readout this is the best setting in that it gives the greatest number of significant digits. Record the value below. Remember to include units with all numbers. R resistor = Ω 5. Connect the ohmmeter to the light bulb and measure its resistance. You may have to adjust the ohmmeter range to get a good measurement. Record the value below. Remember to include units with your numbers. Questions R bulb = 1. What would be the resistance reading on the ohmmeter for a light bulb that is burned out (that is the filament in the light bulb has melted). That is, a potion of the light bulb filament has burned up. If you are not sure ask the instructor to loan you a burned out bulb. Caution Make sure that the battery is removed before starting each part of the experiment. Insert it only after you have double checked all connections to make sure they are right. This procedure will prevent injury to the meter, save fuses, and increase battery life. Part 2 Voltage Measurement 1. To set the multi-meter up to act as an voltmeter, leave the leads where they are and turn the dial to the section marked V (V is the symbol for volts). A voltmeter is used to measure electrical potential difference or voltage. 2. Set the voltmeter on its highest voltage scale so that if for some reason the voltage is higher than you expect you will not damage the meter. 3. Connect the voltmeter to the Battery (use a Cells for this and other sections of the lab). 2

3 + + V Figure 3 Measurement of voltage 4. Vary the voltage range on your meter until you can accurately read the battery voltage. Record the voltage below. Remember to include units with all numbers. V = Part 3 Current Measurement 1. Set the multi-meter up to act as an ammeter by turning the dial to the section marked A, A is the symbol for amps, and switching the red wire to the socket marked A. An ammeter is used to measure electrical current. 2. Set the ammeter range to measure the highest possible current, this is for safety. As another safety precaution, remove the battery until everything is connected exactly as it should be. 3. Using the commercial resistor from Part 1 and the power supply (battery) from Part 2, set up the circuit as shown below. Insert the ammeter into the circuit so that the electrical current will flow through the ammeter as shown (the ammeter measures the flow of electrons through the circuit). Caution!!! Do not connect the ammeter directly to the battery, current must also flow through the resistor. Figure 4 Measurement of Current in a Resistor 4. Check with the instructor before proceeding. Insert the battery to complete the circuit. Adjust the ammeter scale so that you can accurately measure the current in the circuit (i.e., use the lowest scale possible for the most precision). Record the measured value of the current. Remember to include units with all numbers. 3

4 I measured = 5. Remove the middle battery to break the circuit (this is for safety and to increase battery life). 6. According to Ohm's Law the electrical current, I, that will flow through the circuit is, or I = V R where R is the resistance of the resistor you measured in Part 1 and V is the voltage of the power supply that you measured in Part 2. Calculate the current that flows through your resistor. I calculated = 7. Compare the calculated value of current and the measured value of the current. 4

5 Multimeter A multimeter can measure resistance, R, voltage, V, and current, I. Units Resistance is the measurement of how difficult it would be to get an object or material to carry an electric current. This is measured in ohms,. Voltage is the measurement of the potential of an electrical source to create an electric current in an circuit. Voltage is measured in volts, V. Current is the measurement of the amount of electric current in an circuit. Current is measured in amps, A. Reading a Multimeter The value that appears in the display of the meter is the measurement reading, but to get the unit correct you must look carefully at where you have the dial set. There are three sections to the dial corresponding to resistance, voltage, and current. off Resistance in Ohms Inside each of the sections are settings. At each setting a value is written that indicates the maximum reading that can be made at that setting. The letter following the number at the setting is a multiplier that you use to get the true size of the reading in the standard unit. Example Display shows Setting is 2K The correct measurement is 999 Multipliers M multiply by 1,000,000 K multiply by 1,000 m divide by 1,000 divide by 1,000,000 V Voltage in volts A Current in Amps 5

6 Electricity Lab (Virtual) Electrical Circuits Part 1. Building simple circuits. Use the CCK to build the following simple circuit. The circuit construction kit (DC only) can be found at: then select RunNow You will need to check both ammeter and voltmeter checkboxes. Other hints: to undo a connection right click on it then select spilt junction, to change battery voltage right click on battery and then select change, and to remove something right click on it and then select remove. Series Figure 1. A simple light bulb circuit. Change the battery voltage to 50 Volts. (right click on battery) Check the non-contact ammeter check box and move it over different wires in the circuit. How does the current in the wires compare to the current into (or out of) the battery? 6

7 Series circuits. Record the voltage and current into the battery from your circuit like Figure 1 (after changing the battery voltage to 50 Volts). You will have to wait until you observe the brightness for 2-Bulbs and 3-Bulbs before filling in the relative brightness (Power=Current x Voltage). Battery Voltage V Current into the Battery I Relative Bulb Brightness (P=IV) 1 Bulb 2 Bulbs in series 3 Bulbs in series Modify the top part of the circuit to have two bulbs in series as shown and record the battery voltage and current into the batter in the table above. Modify the top part of the circuit to have three bulbs in series as shown and record the battery voltage and current into the batter in the table above. Does the overall current increase or decrease as more light bulbs are added in series? Does the overall effective circuit resistance increase or decrease as more light bulbs are added in series? 7

8 Check the non-contact ammeter check box and move it over different wires in the circuit. How does the current in the wires compare to the current into (or out of) the battery? (Select best answer) a) The current through each bulb is the same as the total current leaving the battery b) The current through each bulb is less than the total current and the currents of all bulbs add up to a number less than the total current. c) The current through each bulb is less than the total current and the currents of all bulbs add up to a number greater than the total current. d) The current through each bulb is less than the total current and the currents of all bulbs add up to a number equal to the total current. Move the voltmeter leads to measure the voltage across each light bulb (see example at right). What is the relationship between the voltages of each bulb and the total battery voltage? (select best answer) e) The voltage of each bulb is the same as the total voltage f) The voltage of each bulb is less than the battery voltage and the voltages of all bulbs add up to a number less than the battery voltage. g) The voltage of each bulb is less than the battery voltage and the voltages of all bulbs add up to a number greater than the battery voltage. h) The voltage of each bulb is less than the battery voltage and the voltages of all bulbs add up to a number equal to the battery voltage. (next page to continue to the next section) 8

9 Parallel Circuits. Record the voltage and current into the battery from your circuit like Figure 1 (after changing the battery voltage to 50 Volts). You will have to wait until you observe the brightness for 2-Bulbs and 3-Bulbs before filling in the relative brightness (Power=Current x Voltage). The first row in this table should be the same as the first row in the table for series circuits but double check to make sure everything is set. Battery Voltage V Current into the Battery I Relative Bulb Brightness (P=IV) 1 Bulb 2 Bulbs in parallel 3 Bulbs in parallel Modify the top part of the circuit to have two bulbs in parallel as shown below and record the battery voltage and current into the batter in the table above. Although the figure looks a little messy connecting two light bulbs in parallel is actually fairly simple. Notice that wires connect the two bottom terminals of each light bulb together and both are connect via wire to the same side of the battery. The side terminals of each light bulb are also connected together by wires and each is also connected to the negative side of the battery through wires and the ammeter. 9

10 Modify the top part of the circuit to have three bulbs in parallel as shown below and record the battery voltage and current into the batter in the table above. Does the overall current increase or decrease as more light bulbs are added in parallel? Does the overall effective circuit resistance increase or decrease as more light bulbs are added in parallel? Check the non-contact ammeter check box and move it over different wires in the circuit. How does the current in the wires compare to the total current into (or out of) the battery for parallel circuits?(select best answer) a) The current through each bulb is the same as the total current leaving the battery b) The current through each bulb is less than the total current and the currents of all bulbs add up to a number less than the total current. c) The current through each bulb is less than the total current and the currents of all bulbs add up to a number greater than the total current. d) The current through each bulb is less than the total current and the currents of all bulbs add up to a number equal to the total current. 10

11 Move the voltmeter leads to measure the voltage across each light bulb. What is the relationship between the voltages of each bulb and the total battery voltage for parallel circuits? a) The voltage of each bulb is the same as the total voltage b) The voltage of each bulb is less than the battery voltage and the voltages of all bulbs add up to a number less than the battery voltage. c) The voltage of each bulb is less than the battery voltage and the voltages of all bulbs add up to a number greater than the battery voltage. d) The voltage of each bulb is less than the battery voltage and the voltages of all bulbs add up to a number equal to the battery voltage. (next page for question) 11

12 12

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