PHY 101 Lab 7 on Electric circuits: Direct current circuits Your name: Other team members:

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1 PHY 101 Lab 7 on Electric circuits: Direct current circuits Your name: Other team members: Goals: To explore the basic principles of electric circuits, and how to measure them. Materials: Electrical resistors Digital multimeters Wires with banana plugs Batteries Activity: Introduction to Meters The first thing you will need to do is to familiarize yourself with your digital multimeter. Your TA will show you how to hook up the leads and set the switches to make voltage measurements, current measurements, and resistance measurements. NOTE: One safety rule (to protect your meter) that you should always follow is the following: Only use the "Ammeter" setting on your meter when you are going to hook the meter up in series with some substantial resistance. Otherwise, you can damage the meter. Resistors and Ohm's Law (V = I*R) Make a simple circuit out of your battery set and a single resistor. Choose a resistor whose resistance is 100 ohms or greater. Draw a diagram of the circuit here. 1

2 Use your meter to measure the voltage across the resistor. Draw a diagram showing your connection, and also give the value of the voltage that you find. Make sure your meter is in the voltmeter mode before you turn on your meter. Next, turn your meter off and connect it to the circuit to use it to measure the current through the resistor. Ask your TA to check the connections BEFORE you turn your multimeter back on again in the ammeter mode. Draw a diagram showing your connection, and also give the value of the current that you find. Find the resistance by dividing the measured voltage by the measured current. Does it agree with the value marked for the resistance on its case? 2

3 Check the resistance another way, by using your multimeter as an Ohmmeter. Does this measurement agree with your other determination? Series Connection Take two resistors of roughly the same value, but that differ by a factor of two or three, and hook them together in series. Hook up the batteries so that you have set up a voltage difference across the pair of resistors. What does your circuit look like? Use your meter (or better, several meters if they are available) to measure both the voltage across the pair of resistors and the current through the pair of resistors. Draw a diagram showing your connections, and also give the values of the readings that you find. Remember to be careful when using the multimeter in the ammeter mode. Please hook up the meter in series with some substantial resistance before using it as an ammeter. 3

4 Find the resistance by dividing the measured voltage by the measured current. What value did you expect for the series combination of the two resistors? How do the two numbers compare? Measure the voltage across one of the resistors, then across the other. How do the voltages compare with what you expect? What is the relation between the voltages you measure and the total voltage across the pair of resistors, or with the voltage of the battery? Show how Ohm's Law applies to each resistor individually. 4

5 Using Ohm's Law for the series combination of the two resistors, show that they behave like a single resistor with resistance equal to the sum of the individual resistances. Parallel Connection Take the same two resistors, and hook them up in parallel with each other. Hook up the batteries so that you have set up a voltage difference across the pair of resistors. What does your circuit look like? Use your meter (or better, several meters if they are available) to measure both the voltage across the pair of resistors and the current through the pair of resistors. Draw a diagram showing your connections, and also give the values of the readings that you find. 5

6 Find the resistance by dividing the measured voltage by the measured current. What value did you expect for the parallel combination of the two resistors? How do the two numbers compare? Measure the current through the circuit in several places: 1) out of the positive terminal of the battery 2) into one of the resistors, 3) into the other resistor. Draw a diagram for each setup necessary, and give the value of the current that you measure in each case. 6

7 Compare the various currents that you measure. How do they compare with each other? How do they compare with what you expect? Show how Ohm's Law applies to each resistor individually. 7

8 Using Ohm's Law for the parallel combination of the two resistors, show that the voltage and current measurements can be interpreted as being due to a resistance for the combination that is smaller than the resistance of either individual resistance. 8

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