Physics II Lab Report 1 .docx - University of North Texas...

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University of North Texas Experiment 5: Series and Parallel Circuits Alexandra Cottle Physics 1440- General Physics II Laboratory - Section 504 Dr. Gilbert Nyandoto July 24, 2018
Abstract This experiment was conducted to help us understand how resistance work in both series and parallel circuits and gain experience calculating the equivalent resistance mathematically and experimentally. To best preform this experiment, the resistors being used must be calibrated by finding each resistor true resistance value. Furthermore, we then had to calculate how many amperes the computer program added to experimentally found values of the circuits current. Once calibration was completed, the circuits 1-4 were experimentally tested for their currents and, using Ohm’s law, the measured value of the equivalent resistance was found. Compared against the theoretical value of the equivalent resistance calculated using the known relationship of resistors in series and parallel, we found that all of our values were very close to one another. The largest percent difference seen in our experiment was 6.1% and the smallest was 0.2%. While major errors were avoided, it was noted that our current correction value is likely off due to the resistor used heating up and increasing the correction value. Introduction A circuit is a path in which an electrical current can be carried between two point minimum. As such, a circuit can be set up in two different ways with resistors in mind: in parallel or in series. When resistors are in series, the total resistance of the circuit (Req) can be calculated by summing all resistors present within the circuit. In parallel, the Req is calculated by diving the multiplied value of all resistors in the circuit by the sum of all the resistors. For complex circuits, featuring both in series and in parallel resistors, the math to calculate the equivalent resistor is much more difficult and requires the Req to be calculated in multiple steps the views each set of conditions individually, rather than all together. However, another way to calculate the equivalent resistance of a circuit, besides mathematically, is experimentally by finding the total current of a built circuit with an applied voltage and using Ohm’s law to calculate resistance. By using Ohm’s Law (V = IR) and the mathematical approach to calculate the Req, one can test how accurate both methods are by taking a percent difference, furthering understanding of circuits in both series and parallel and their equivalent resistance.

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