# Series & Parallel Circuits Challenge

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1 Name: Part One: Series & Parallel Circuits Challenge 1. Build a circuit using two batteries and two light bulbs in a way to illuminate the two light bulbs so that if either light bulb is disconnected, the other light bulb also goes out. Draw a labeled diagram of the setup you used: (2 marks) 2. Once your circuit is built, record the current and potential difference values for the following locations (4 marks) Current Between Battery and First Bulb Between Second Bulb and Battery Potential Difference 3. Compare the two measured current and potential difference values. (2 marks)

2 Name: 4. Will the current and potential difference between the battery and the first light bulb increase, decrease, or stay the same if you add one more light bulb to the circuit. (2 marks) Prediction: Why? 5. Add one more light bulb to the circuit and record the current between the battery and the first light bulb using an ammeter. Is your prediction correct? Current in the circuit (I) A (1 mark) Potential Difference (V) V (1 mark) Part Two: 1. Build a circuit using two batteries and two light bulbs in a way to illuminate the two light bulbs so that if either light bulb is disconnected, the other light bulb stays lit. Note that only one set of wires can be attached to the batteries. (2 marks) Draw a labeled diagram of the setup you used: 2. Once your circuit is built, record the current and potential difference values for the following locations (4 marks) Current Between Battery and First Bulb Between Second Bulb and Battery Potential Difference

3 Name: 3. Compare the two measured current and potential difference values. (2 marks) 4. Will the current and potential difference between the battery and the first light bulb increase, decrease, or stay the same if you add one more light bulb to the circuit. (2 marks) Prediction: Why? 5. Add one more light bulb to the circuit and record the current and potential difference between the battery and the first light bulb using an ammeter. Is your prediction correct? (1 mark) Current in the circuit (I) A (1 mark) Potential Difference (V) V (1 mark) 6. Complete the following table, comparing and contrasting series and parallel circuits (4 marks) When one light bulb goes out, the other light bulb The total current given from the battery The total potential difference given from the battery When a third light bulb is added, the current Series a) is the same for each light bulb b) is divided between the light bulbs a) is the same for each light bulb b) is divided between the light bulbs Parallel a) is the same for each light bulb b) is divided between the light bulbs a) is the same for each light bulb b) is divided between the light bulbs

4 Sky Tow Analogy: Series And Parallel Circuits It is possible to hook up circuit elements in various combinations. Some hills, like those in Ontario, are not very high but are very heavily used and have many tows and trails beside each other on the same hill. Others, like those found in the mountains, may also have more than one tow and trail, but they may be connected end to end to reach up a very high hill. Two tows beside each other are said to be in parallel. The hill is not very high but there is a relatively high capacity for hauling skiers up it. Here is what such an arrangement might look like for skiers and for an electrical circuit: Two tows connected end to end are said to be in series. The hill is higher but the capacity for hauling skiers up it is not as great. Here is what such an arrangement might look like for skiers and for an electrical circuit: The trails as well as the tows may be arranged in series or in parallel. Here are examples of these: It is possible to mix the types of circuits in many different configurations. For example there could be cells in series and bulbs in parallel in the same circuit or any other combination you can think

5 Types of Circuits Series Parallel Complex Short Open Draw diagrams to illustrate each of the following circuits. 1. two bulbs in series with a dry cell and a switch Circuit Diagram Practice 2. two bulbs in parallel with a switch and two dry cells in series 3. two dry cells connected in parallel, connected to a bulb, a switch and an ammeter which reads the current in the bulb 4. a dry cell connected to two bulbs in parallel, such that the switch controls the operation of one bulb and an ammeter which reads the current through the other bulb 5. two bulbs in series, with a dry cell, a switch, an ammeter that reads the current in the circuit and a voltmeter that reads the potential difference across one bulb 6. How many errors can you find in the following circuit diagram?

6 Meters in Simple Circuits Circuit Draw with Voltmeter Draw with Ammeter Draw with Ohmmeter

7 Circuit Draw with Voltmeter Draw with Ammeter Draw with Ohmmeter

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9 ELECTRIC CIRCUITS LEARNING GOALS Students will: Solve problems involving current, charge and time. Solve problems relating potential difference to energy and charge. Use Ohm s Law to relate current, voltage and resistance Apply Kirchhoff s Laws to analyze current and voltage in circuits. TEXTBOOK AND WEBSITE RESOURCES Reading Nelson Physics 11 Section 11.3, 11.5, Pgs Videos Electric Current and Potential Difference CIRCUIT FUNDAMENTALS An electric circuit is a closed loop, with a steady flow of charged particles provided by a source of electrical energy. A battery converts stored chemical potential energy into electrical energy. Current electricity is the flow of charged particles along a conductor. A circuit contains a source of electrical energy, a conductor, and a load. A load converts electrical energy into light, sound, heat, or motion. 1

10 EXAMPLE: DRAWING CIRCUITS Draw a circuit containing three batteries connected to each other, a switch so that electricity can flow through it and three light bulbs connected to each other. ELECTRIC CURRENT Electric current can be compared to the volume flow rate of water. a) Volume flow rate of water is a measure of the volume of water flowing past a given point each second. b) Electric current is a measure of the number of electric charges flowing past a given point each second. The amount of charge transferred per unit time is referred to as current. The movement of electrons in a circuit is called electron flow, and is the correct definition of current in a circuit. Conventional current describes current as positive charges moving from positive to negative poles. Although technically incorrect, conventional current is often used in circuit analysis. The equation for current is EXAMPLE A battery delivers a charge of 9.00 C in 1.00 min of operation. What amount of current is generated in ma? 2

11 PRACTICE PROBLEMS 1. A D-cell battery delivers a charge of C in 65.0 s. Determine the current produced by this battery. 2. A car battery provides a current of A for 2.48 s. Determine the charge provided by the battery. 3. A battery has a total charge capacity of C. For how long can this battery deliver a current of 450 ma? DC VS AC CURRENT Current can have one direction or move back and forth. Direct current (DC) is a steady current in one direction. Alternating current (AC) changes direction periodically. Charges in AC move back and forth and do not move from one terminal to another in the circuit. AC is used in household wiring. MEASURING CURRENT Conventional Current Electron Flow When the direction of DC was first defined, scientists did not know that it was the electrons that pushed each other along the wires. By convention, they agreed that electric current was the flow of positive charges. The confusing part is that in metal conductors it is the electrons, the negative charges that flow. 3

12 The instrument used to measure electric current is called an ammeter. It must be connected directly in the path of the moving charges. This type of connection is called a series connection. RESISTANCE Resistance is the degree to which current is opposed in a circuit. A resistor is a device that resists or restricts current. Resistors remove energy from charges and convert it to other forms of energy, such as heat. Under normal conditions, all components offer some resistance in a circuit, even if resistance is not their primary role. Resistance is an opposition to the flow of charge, resulting in a loss of potential energy. The magnitude of the electrical resistance of a conductor depends on four variables: The length of the conductor. The cross-sectional area of the conductor. The material the conductor is made of. The temperature of the conductor. The type of material determines how easily it allows electrons to move from one atom to the next. COLOUR-CODED RESISTORS Conductors allow electrons to move easily; hence, they have very low resistance. Insulators do not allow electrons to move easily. They have a very high resistance. Semi-conductors fall somewhere in between. A resistor is a device that is used in an electrical circuit to control current flow and potential differences in circuits. The resistance is measured in units called ohms (Ω). Many resistors have coloured bands around them to identify their resistance. The most common is a 4-band scheme. Each band stands for a number from

13 EXAMPLE: COLOUR-CODED RESISTANCE Using the data in the table below, determine the resistance value and tolerance for the colourcoded resistor (see powerpoint). THE BATTERY AND POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE Batteries increase the potential energy of charges in a circuit. A battery acts like a pump by increasing the energy of charges, much like a water pump gives water potential energy by pumping it to a higher level. Electric potential is the electrical potential energy per unit charge, measured in volts (V). It is mathematically expressed as: Charges have a greater electric potential before they pass through a load than after. This change in electric potential is potential difference ( V), which is often referred to as voltage. 5

14 PRACTICE PROBLEMS 1. A potential difference of V is measured across a light bulb. The light bulb is left on for 30 min allowing a charge of 900 C to flow through it. How much energy is converted to light and heat? 2. A charge of 50.0 C has a change in potential energy of 1.00 x 10 3 J as it flows through a resistor. What is the potential difference across the resistor? MEASURING POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE The instrument used to measure electric potential difference is called a voltmeter. To measure potential rise, the voltmeter must be connected across the source. To measure potential drop, the voltmeter must be connected across the load. This type of connection is called a parallel connection. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CURRENT, POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE AND RESISTANCE Go to and run the Circuit Construction Kit. 1. Build a circuit with one battery, one resistor, an ammeter and a voltmeter. 2. Setup the voltmeter to read the potential difference around the resistor. 3. Starting with a voltage of 9.0 V, record the current in the table provided. 4. Decrease the voltage in increments of 2.0 V and record the current. 5. Plot the current vs potential difference on the graph provided. 6. Calculate the slope of the I-V graph. 7. Right-click on the resistor and click on Show Value. V A 6

15 Potential Difference vs Current Potential Difference (V) Current (A) OHM S LAW There is a relationship between potential difference, current, and resistance. German scientist Georg Ohm applied different voltages across a resistor and measured the current. He found a linear relationship between voltage and current. Ohm s law can be expressed mathematically. EXAMPLE A student is asked to determine the value of the resistor in a circuit as shown below. 7

16 3. Three colour-coded resistors are used in an experiment. State each resistance and tolerance if the colours are a) Red; red; black; silver b) Blue; orange; black; gold c) Brown; green; brown 4. Calculate the resistance in each of the following cases: a) Δ =3.0 V; =0.40 A b) Δ =120 V; =8.0 A c) Δ =240 V; =32 A d) Δ =9.0 V; =5.0 ma 5. The current through a calculator is 4.0 x 10-3 A. If the resistance of the calculator is 1.5 x 10 3 Ω, what is the potential drop across it? 6. The potential drop across a 26Ω food dehydrator is 120 V. Calculate the current through the dehydrator. 8

17 KIRCHHOFF S VOLTAGE LAW CONDUCTING AN EXPLORATION KIRCHHOFF S LAWS LAB Conduct this exploration at Purpose: Apparatus: To determine what happens to the voltage as charge flows along different paths of a circuit - 3 different resistors between 30 Ω and 120 Ω - leads, ammeter, voltmeter, power supply Measurements: 1. Use three different resistors with values between 30 Ω and 120 Ω. 2. Set up Circuit A. Measure and record the values indicated. 3. Continue with Circuits B and C. V S = R s = V 1 = R 1 = V 3 = R 3 = Circuit A V 2 = Circuit B R 2 = V s = R s = V 2 = R 2 = V 1 = R 1 = V 3 = R 3 = Circuit C 9

18 Analysis: 1. Compare the following quantities: a) V1 and Vs in circuit A b) V1 + V2 + V3 with Vs in circuit B c) What voltages do you think should be (approximately) equal in Circuit C? Test your predictions: 2. Complete the statement: As charge flows around various paths of a circuit, all the voltage gained at the source regardless of the path travelled. KIRCHHOFF S VOLTAGE LAW The laws governing voltage and current in circuits were first determined by Gustav Kirchhoff and are named after him. Kirchhoff s Voltage Law Around any complete path through an electric circuit, the sum of the increases in electric potential is equal to the sum of the decreases in electric potential. It is this final form of Kirchhoff s Laws that we will use to analyze circuits. a) Explain how Kirchhoff s voltage law applies to Circuit C PRACTICE: KVL Calculate the electric potential drop Δ for the following circuit. 10

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20 KIRCHHOFF S CURRENT LAW CONDUCTING AN EXPLORATION KIRCHHOFF S CURRENT LAW Questions & Predictions: a. What happens to current as it goes through a resistor? b. What happens to current when it gets to a junction (split) in the circuit? Conduct this exploration at Apparatus: - 3 different resistors between 30 Ω and 120 Ω - leads, ammeter, voltmeter, power supply Measurements: 1. Use three different resistors with values between 30 Ω and 120 Ω. 2. Set up Circuit A. Measure and record the values indicated. 3. Continue with Circuits B and C. I 1 = Vs = Is = V1= I1= V2 = I2 = V3 = I3 = I 1 = Circuit A I4= Circuit B Circuit C 11

21 Analysis & Conclusions: 1. For each junction in each circuit, compare the total current entering the junction with the total current leaving 2. Answer the questions posed at the beginning of this lab: a) Current through a resistor: b) When current gets to a junction in a circuit... KIRCHHOFF S CURRENT LAW Kirchhoff s Current Law At any junction point in an electric circuit, the total electric current into the junction is equal to the total electric current out. b) Explain how Kirchhoff s voltage law applies to Circuits B and C: PRACTICE: KCL Calculate the electric current I 2 for the following circuit. 12

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23 PRACTICE PROBLEMS 1. Calculate the unknown electric currents for the circuit shown. 2. Calculate the unknown electric potential differences in the circuits shown. 3. Calculate the total current in the circuit below. 4. Calculate the potential rise of the source in the circuit below. 13

24 EQUIVALENT RESISTANCE LEARNING GOALS Students will: Define electrical resistance Describe how various physical properties affect electrical resistance Explain Ohm s Law Use Ohm s Law to relate current, voltage and resistance RESISTORS IN SERIES Re-writing resistors in series as ONE equivalent resistor A circuit might consist of any number of loads. If this circuit had eight loads, R N would represent R 8 and eight loads and would be connected in series. = Resistors in Series - The equivalent resistance of loads in series is the sum of the resistance of the individual loads. RESISTORS IN PARALLEL resistors in parallel as ONE equivalent resistor 1

25 = Resistors in Parallel - The inverse of the equivalent resistance for resistors connected in parallel is the sum of the inverses of the individual resistances. EXAMPLE You have resistors of 100 Ω, 200 Ω, and 600 Ω. Whet is their equivalent resistance if they are connected in a) series? b) parallel? SOLUTION a) R eq = 100 Ω Ω Ω = 900 Ω b) = + + = = NOTE: When adding resistors in parallel, the result is always less than any of the resistors you are adding. In the example above, the answer is 60 Ω and the smallest resistor you added was 100 Ω. Explain why the equivalent resistance is smaller from a concept perspective (not just the math) IDENTIFYING SERIES AND PARALLEL COMPONENTS It can be tricky to identify the components of a circuit that connected directly in parallel or directly in series. The following may help: Series: Two resistors are in series if all the current that goes through one MUST go through the other and there is nothing in between Parallel: Two resistors are in parallel if the current has the option of going through one or the other and no other choices 2

26 VERIFYING THE LAWS FOR ADDING RESISTORS Use the Circuit Construction Kit (DC Only) at Purpose: To determine the rules for adding resistances connected in series and in parallel. Method: 1. Select three different resistors and change their values to numbers between 30 Ω and 120 Ω. Using the formulae, what would be the total resistance if these resistors were connected in series? In parallel? 2. Connect the three in series to a power supply. Measure and record the voltage across each resistor as well as the total voltage across the terminals of the power supply. Since it is a series circuit, measure and record the current at any point. Calculate the resistance based on the voltage and current. Components Voltage Current Resistance R 1 R 2 R 3 R T 3. Connect the three resistances in parallel to the power supply. Measure and record the current flowing through each resistor, the total current from the power supply and because the circuit is parallel the voltage across any element (eg. across a resistor). Calculate the resistance based on the current and voltage. Components Voltage Current Resistance R 1 R 2 R 3 R T How do the values for the total resistance compare the values you calculated in question 1? 3

27 PRACTICE 1. Identify which of these components are connected directly in series with each other and which are connected directly in parallel. 4

28 Blackline Master NAME: DATE: Equivalent Resistance in Circuits Series Circuit Use the diagram of the series circuit to answer the questions. 1. What is the equivalent resistance, R series, if R 1 = 38, R 2 = 48.2, and R 3 = 79.03? 2. What is R series if R 1 = , R 2 = , and R 3 = 48.27? 3. What is R 3 if R series = , R 1 = 97.38, and R 2 = ? Parallel Circuit Use the diagram of the parallel circuit to answer the questions. 4. What is R parallel if R 1 = 20.0, R 2 = 15.0, and R 3 = 30.0? 5. What is R parallel if R 1 = 120, R 2 = 40, and R 3 = 60? 6. What is R parallel if R 1 = R 2 = R 3 = 150? Mixed Circuit Wh at is R tota l if R 2 = R 3 = R 4 = R 5 = 16.0 and R 1 = R 6 = 25? What is R total if each resistor has resistance 18? Wh at is R total if R 2 = R 3 = R 4 = R 5 = 20.0 and R 1 = R 6 = 85? BLM

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