# PHYSICS 176 UNIVERSITY PHYSICS LAB II. Experiment 2 (two weeks) Direct Current Measurement and Ohm's Law

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1 PHYSICS 176 UNIVERSITY PHYSICS LAB II Experiment 2 (two weeks) Direct Current Measurement and Ohm's Law Equipment: Supplies: VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter), digital multimeter, power supply. 1/2 watt carbon resistors (color coded) with nominal values 680Ω, 1kΩ, 1.5kΩ, 4.7kΩ and 10kΩ, 9 volt battery. When the terminals of a battery or power supply are connected in a conducting circuit, a direct current of electrons flows out of the negative terminal, around the circuit, and back into the positive terminal. The current continues to flow until the circuit is opened. The magnitude of the current is limited by the resistance of the circuit. In this experiment you will use a volt-ohm-milliammeter (VOM) and a digital multimeter to make measurements of resistance, voltage, and current. The resistance color code (posted in the laboratory) will be used to determine the nominal values of resistance. A. Resistance Measurements 1. Measuring Resistance with the VOM (Refer to the sketch on page 5) A resistance measurement with a VOM requires two steps: (1) Connect the red and black leads together and then use the ZERO OHMS knob to adjust the needle to 0 on the OHMS scale. The OHMS scale is at the top and is marked in a nonlinear way with numbers that increase from right to left. (2) Connect the leads to the resistor to be measured and read its resistance on the OHMS scale. The scale reading is multiplied by the factor indicated on the range switch: Rx1, Rx100, or Rx10,000. Whenever the OHMS scale is changed it must be "zeroed" as described above. When the range switch is on a resistance setting, the leads are connected to a battery inside the VOM. For this reason, a resistor should be removed from any circuit that it is in before trying to measure its resistance with the VOM. When a VOM is stored it should not be left on a resistance setting because accidental shorting of the leads would drain current from the internal battery. 2. Measuring Resistance with the Digial Multimeter (Refer to page 6). Resistance measurement with the digital multimeter does not require initial zeroing. The resistor is connected via leads to the COM and Ω sockets. The range switch setting indicates the maximum resistance that can be measured. If a resistance is larger than this maximum, the LED (light emitting diode) display will blink. 1

2 B. Voltage Measurements 1. Measuring Voltage with the VOM (Refer to page 5) When the left-hand switch of the VOM is set on +D.C., the red lead should be connected to the +side of a voltage source to be measured and the black lead is connected to the -side of the source. The D.C. voltage scale is directly under the OHMS scale. It is a linear scale marked with three sets of numbers. Use the set of numbers that corresponds to the range setting. For example, if the range switch is set on 2.5 V use the D.C. scale numbers 0, 50, 100, 150, 200, Measuring Voltage with the Digial Multimeter (Refer to page 6) Connect the black lead to COM and the red lead to the V Ω, Hz. % Temp socket. Set the selector switch to desired V~ or V-- position. Connect the probes across the source or load under measurement 3. The Resistance of a Voltmeter The internal resistance of a voltmeter should be large so that it draws as little current as possible. The Simpson 260-6P has a sensitivity of 20,000 ohms per volt, which means that its internal resistance is R m = (20,000) x (voltage range) For example, on the 50 V range its internal resistance is 1MΩ. The internal resistance of the digital voltmeter on all ranges is >10 MΩ. C. Current Measurements 1. Measuring Current with the VOM (Refer to page 5) When the left-hand switch of the VOM is set on +D.C., the needle deflects properly for an electron current which flows into the -side of the meter and out of the +side. Proper connection of the VOM is shown below. On the left is a picture of a circuit consisting of the meter, a resistor, and a battery; on the right is a schematic diagram of the same circuit. In the diagram the current I is opposite to the direction of the electron current flow. This convention for showing current direction is common in all technical disciplines. 2

3 The D.C. current scale of the VOM is the same as the D.C. voltage scale. It is directly under the OHMS scale and is marked with three sets of numbers. All of the current ranges use the scale numbers 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, Measuring Current with the Digital Multimeter (Refer to page 6) Connect the black lead to COM and the red lead to the ma μa socket when the current is below 300 ma. For current measurements from 300 ma to 10 A, connect the red test lead to the 10A socket. Set the selector switch to desired ~μa, ~ma, ~10A or --μa,--ma, --10A position. Connect the probes across the source or load under measurement. 3. The Resistance of an Ammeter The internal resistance of an ammeter is always small so that it alters the current flow as little as possible. On the 100 ma range the Simpson 260-6P has an internal resistance of about 3 ohms. On the ma range the digital multimeter has an internal resistance of only about 1 ohm. Because of its small internal resistance, an ammeter should not be connected directly across a voltage source. When across a voltage source, a meter should be set on a voltage range so that its internal resistance is large. When used as an ammeter, the meter is placed in a circuit and is protected from excessive current by the resistance of the circuit. In the circuit shown on the previous page, removal of the resistor would leave the VOM milliammeter directly across the battery. The result would be a current overload, i.e. the milliammeter would draw a large current because of its small resistance. The Simpson 260-6P is protected against current overload by relay contacts which latch open and remain open until the white reset button on the front panel is depressed. D. The Power Supply (Refer to page 7) The power supply has a 0 to +30 volt output (between terminals 7 and 9; see page 7) that can be varied continuously using the control knobs labeled VOLTAGE (FINE/COARSE). The power supply output is displayed on a meter (10; see page 7). The power supply output has a current limiting control. The maximum output current is 3 A. 3

4 E. Ohm's Law For a wide range of materials used in electrical circuits, the relationship of the potential difference (or voltage drop) V across a circuit component, the current I through the component, and the resistance R of the component is given by Ohm's law: V = IR That is, for a given circuit component which obeys Ohm's law, the voltage is linearly proportional to the current. For example, if the bands on a resistor are red (A), black(b), orange (C), and silver (D), then the resistance is 20 1,000 = 20,000 or 20 k, and the tolerance is 2,000 (ten percent of 20,000 ). 4

5 Simpson 260-6P Volt-Ohm Milliammeter Jacks and switch positions for measuring resistance Jacks and switch positions for measuring direct current 55

6 Display Features Functions Sockets 6

7 Tenma DS Power Supply 7

8 Systematic Errors The following is manufacturer supplied information concerning the accuracy of electronic instruments. Simpson 260 VOM DC voltage and current readings: 2% of full scale. Resistance readings: 2% of reading. AMPROBE Digital Multimeter see page 6. Internal Resistance The following is manufacturer supplied information concerning the internal resistance (input impedances) of electronic instruments. Simpson 260 VOM Voltage settings: 20,000 ohms per full scale volt. Current settings: approximately (.25 volts)/(range setting). AMPROBE Digital Multimeter Voltage settings: >10 MΩ. 86

9 Procedure-Experiment 1 NOTE: This procedure assumes you have read the introduction to this lab. If you re not sure how to use a particular instrument first go to the introduction which describes how to use all the instruments in this lab. If you are still confused then ask your laboratory instructor for assistance. A. Resistance Measurements HINT: The clever student will order the five resistors as follows: R 1 is the smallest value of resistance, R 2 is the second smallest, and so on Use the color code posted in the laboratory or on page 4 to determine the nominal values of resistance and tolerance for the five resistors. 2. Measure the resistance values of the five resistors with the VOM and with the digital multimeter. Remember to zero the VOM before each resistance measurement. Systematic Errors: There will be systematic errors associated with these measurements. The information needed to determine systematic errors is on the previous page for VOM and on page 6 for DMM. It is provided by the manufacturers of the equipment. B. Voltage Measurements 1. Measure the voltage across the battery with the VOM and the digital multimeter. Direct connection of a meter to a voltage source should be done with care. Before you complete the circuit, check the following: a) The meter range should be large enough to accommodate the voltage. b) The + side of the meter should be connected to the + side of the source. c) Avoid inadvertent switching of the meter into a current or resistance range. Include with your measurement of the battery voltage the uncertainty due to systematic error. C. Current Measurements 1. Connect a battery, VOM, and resistor in series to form the circuit shown below. The digital voltmeter monitors the voltage across the battery and has practically no effect on the current I because of its large resistance (10 Megohms). For your five values of resistance R measure I and V. 79

10 2. Replace the battery with the power supply set to a voltage output equal to the battery voltage when zero current is being drawn from it (i.e. connect the digital voltmeter directly to power supply and set the power supply voltage to the value measured in Part B). Repeat the measurements of I and V for the five resistance values. 3. Connect a battery, digital multimeter, and resistor in series to form the circuit shown below. This time the digital multimeter measures the current through the resistor. Be sure that your circuit is connected properly. The multimeter is protected against large currents only by a fuse. In this version of the circuit the VOM is used to monitor the voltage across the battery. 4. Replace the battery by the power supply set to a voltage output equal to the battery voltage when zero current is being drawn from it. Again use the digital multimeter to measure I and use the VOM to measure V. 10 6

12 Measuring the Slope and Intercept If the graph is a straight line it can be further analyzed. The formula for a straight line is y = mx + b, where m and b are parameters called the slope and intercept. When your data seems to fit a straight line, estimates of the values of m and b can be obtained from the graph. Draw the best, single straight line that comes closest to each of your data points. You may ignore a point that is obviously way out of line. Of course, you have already checked to be sure you didn't make a plotting or computational error. How many such points you can ignore and how far away from the best line they must be to safely do so are matters of judgment. But be conservative and ignore only extreme examples. The slope of your best line is given by m = y/ x where y and x refer now to differences in the coordinates of two points on the line, not data points. In general, your line will not pass exactly through any data points. Both y and x must be read directly from the graph. Pick two points on the line at major divisions along the x-axis and towards either end of the line. Mark the points with a vertical arrow. Read the y coordinates of each, compute the differences, and then that ratio m = y/ x. Remember to include the units of y and x in the slope. 12

13 Data Sheet - Experiment 1 A. Resistance Measurements Name Section # 1. Nominal values of resistance and tolerance. Resistor Stripe Colors Nominal Resistance (Ohms) Tolerance (Ohms) R 1 R 2 R 3 R 4 R 5 2. Measured values of resistance and uncertainty. Resistor VOM Resistance Measurement (Ohms) Systematic R (Ohms) R 1 R 2 R 3 R 4 R 5 Resistor Digital Resistance Measurement (Ohms) Systematic R (Ohms) R 1 R 2 R 3 R 4 R 5 Question: Do the two instruments give the same values of resistance within the limits of uncertainty? If not, can any differences be explained by resolution limitations of the meters? If measurement inconsistencies cannot be explained by either resolution or systematic errors, what can you conclude about the manufacturers' claimed accuracy of their instruments?

14 Data Sheet - Experiment 1 B. Voltage Measurements Instrument Measured Voltage (Volts) Range Systematic V (Volts) VOM Digital Meter C. Current Measurements 1. Battery and resistor in series. Resistor (digital values) I (ma) measured with the VOM V (Volts) measured with the digital meter V (volts) computed using V = IR R 1 = R 2 = R 3 = R 4 = R 5 = 2. Power supply and resistor in series. (Remember, set the voltage of the power supply to the same value as the battery from part B.) Resistor (digital values) I (ma) measured with the VOM V (Volts) measured with the digital meter V (volts) computed using V = IR R 1 = R 2 = R 3 = R 4 = R 5 = 14 13

15 3. Battery and resistor in series. Resistor (digital values) I (ma) measured with the digital meter V (Volts) measured with the VOM V (volts) computed using V = IR R 1 = R 2 = R 3 = R 4 = R 5 = 4. Power supply and resistor in series. (Remember, the power supply voltage is supposed to be set to the same value as the battery above.) Resistor (digital values) I (ma) measured with the digital meter V (Volts) measured with the VOM V (volts) computed using V = IR R 1 = R 2 = R 3 = R 4 = R 5 = 15 13

16 Data Sheet - Experiment 1 D. Ohm's Law 1. Voltage as a function of current. I (ma) V (Volts) 2. Plot of voltage as a function of current. Resistance determined from the slope of the line = Resistance determined with the digital ohmmeter = kω kω Are the two values consistent? If not, please check your results. Do not forget to attach your graph

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