Lab 5: Series & Parallel Circuits

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Lab 5: Series & Parallel Circuits1. IntroductionNearly all electronics contain more than one circuit element,so we need to know how to begin to analyze networks ofdevices. How can we predict the current in a morecomplicated circuit if we supply a voltage? Does it matterhow we connect circuit elements together, and are there anyadvantages for a particular way of connecting them? Howare our homes wired for electricity? Your body has alreadysolved these problems with its advanced vascular network,for example. For devices in our homes, we often find thatmultiple batteries are required, but what does thisaccomplish? Are there any rules we can follow for analyzing more complex circuits? Inthis lab, you will perform several experiments where you will analyze examples of bothseries and parallel circuits. For additional definitions and references, see Chapter23.1-23.6 in the Knight textbook.2. ExperimentActivity 1a - Introduction to Series & Parallel CircuitsWe will consider two ways of connecting circuit elements: series and parallel . For bothseries and parallel circuits, one can change the order of sub-circuit components withoutchanging what the circuit does. Consider the circuit shown in Figure 1a. It contains twobattery packs B1, a switch S1 and two lamps (L1 & L2). With S1 closed (ON), howFigure 1a: s imple series lamp circuitFigure 2a: simple parallel lamp circuit1

Figure 5a: ammeter measurement with S1 closedActivity 1b - Introduction to Series & Parallel CircuitsIn this lab, we will consider two ways of connecting circuit elements: series and parallel .For both series and parallel circuits, one can change the order of sub-circuitcomponents (e.g., a lightbulb or a resistor) without changing what the circuit does.Consider the circuit shown in Figure 1b. It contains a single battery, a switch, and twolightbulbs. If we close the switch to complete the circuit, how many possibleuninterrupted paths are there between the battery terminals? Can you predict what willhappen if you assemble the circuit leaving out one of the light bulbs and close theswitch? Why do you think the simulation labels an open switch as having infiniteresistance? Navigate to the circuit construction kit simulation . Keep ‘Labels’ and‘Values’ checked in the upper right set of options for now.Figure 1b: s imple series lamp circuit Figure 2b: simple parallel lamp circuitAssemble the circuit in Figure 1b consisting of two lightbulbs L1 and L2 with resistancesR1 25 Ω and R 2 10 Ω respectively, a switch, and a single 10 V battery (adjust the5

Activity 1b - Introduction to Series & Parallel Circuits In this lab, we will consider two ways of connecting circuit elements: series and parallel . For both series and parallel circuits, one can change the order of sub-circuit components (e.g., a lightbulb or a resistor) without changing what the circuit does.

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