Lab Basics Essay

902 words - 4 pages

OHM'S LAW
EQUIPMENT: • • • • • • Ammeter (0-0.5 A) Voltmeter (0-10 V dc) Decade resistance box (0.1 to 100 Ω) Rheostat (200 Ω) Unknown resistance Battery (6 V)

THEORY: The basic idea of an electrical CIRCUIT is that the power supply "pushes" electrical charges around the circuit similar to the way a pump pushes water in a fountain. The resulting flow of charges is called the CURRENT (I ≡ Δq/Δt). The power supply supplies potential energy to each of the charges that flow through it. We can measure this energy per charge with a voltmeter where we define VOLTAGE as the electrical potential energy per charge (V ≡ PE/q). Note in particular that the power supply (sometimes called the voltage ...view middle of the document...

(NOTE: Although the formula should read ΔV = IR, we often measure voltage like we measure height: from some common reference level we label as 0, and hence V and ΔV become the same.) In this experiment we will use the law to calculate the resistance of certain conductors, after measuring the current and the potential difference. Since both the ammeter (for current measurements) and the voltmeter (for potential difference measurements) have some resistance, there will be certain errors in the measurements. Corrections would have to be made for this in very accurate work.

Ohm’s Law 2 In using D.C. instruments, care must be taken to connect them up with the proper polarity. The terminal marked (+) should always be connected to the positive terminal of the power supply and the terminal marked (-) to the negative terminal. They need not be connected directly, but you should be able to trace back to the proper terminal. On many instruments only one terminal is marked, and it is understood that the other is the opposite polarity. On meters with more than one scale, the number on the terminal refers to the MAXIMUM value that can be measured on that scale. METHOD: Changing of the rheostat resistance varies the current in a resistor. The currents and the corresponding voltages are measured. A voltage-current curve is plotted and the slope of a straight line fitted to the points yield a value of a resistance, which can be compared to the known value.

*CAUTION: The battery should be turned down between readings to minimize...

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