Experiment 05: To study Kirchhoff’s Laws: Voltage and Current in
Circuits
E&M: Kirchhoff’s Laws
Data Studio file: 05 Kirchhoff.ds
Equipment List
1
PASCO Interface (for two sensors)
1
Voltage Sensor
1
‘DC power supply1.5 volt
1
AC/DC Electronics Laboratory
2
Banana Plug Patch Cord
1
Current Sensor
Connect the voltage Sensor to the interface on channel A
Connect the Current Sensor to the interface on channel B
Introduction
The purpose of this activity is to explore Kirchhoff’s two laws of electrical
circuits. Use a voltage sensor, current sensor, and the DataStudio software to
measure the voltage and current across and through parts of a complex
circuit.
Ohm's Law describes the relationship between current, voltage, and
resistance in simple circuits. Many circuits are more complex and cannot be
solved with Ohm's Law. These circuits have many power sources and
branches which would make the use of Ohm's Law impractical or
impossible.
In 1857 the German physicist Gustav Kirchhoff developed methods to solve
complex circuits. Kirchhoff produced two conclusions known today as
Kirchhoff's Laws. Kirchhoff's two laws describe the unique relationship
between current, voltage, and resistance in complex electrical circuits.
Kirchhoff's Current Law
: The current arriving at any junction point in a
circuit is equal to the current leaving that junction. Stated another way: No
matter how many paths into and out of a single point, all the current leaving
that point must equal the current arriving at that point. This law is sometimes
called the
junction
rule.

Kirchhoff's Voltage Law
: The algebraic sum of the voltages around any
closed path is zero. Stated another way: The voltage drops around any closed
loop must equal the applied voltages. This law is sometimes called the
loop
rule.

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- Fall '14
- Electronics, Current, Power, Electrical resistance, Electrical impedance, Kirchhoff's circuit laws, Voltage drop