Series and Parallel Circuits
Name: Angelica Castro
1. Go to the following website:
2. Click “Run now.”
You now have the raw material to create a circuit. Take a moment to look over the site and find all the different materials. To build a circuit you will need several wires, a light bulb, a voltage source, a voltmeter, and a non – contact ammeter. Play with it to see how to grab and manipulate these tools.
Click the reset all button.
A. Series Circuits
Build a simple series circuit that consists of 4-6 pieces of wire, 1 light bulb, and 1 battery (voltage source). In order to complete the circuit, the red circles at the end of each must overlap. Please note that the light bulb also has TWO circles. Your circuit is complete and working when the light comes on and the blue dots begin moving.
What do you think that the moving blue dots represent? (2 points)
I think the moving blue dots represent the flow of electrons. They are moving because they are experiencing an electric current force within the wire.
Explain what a battery does in an electrical circuit? Refer to page 606 in your textbook. (3 points)
A battery provides a source of electrical energy. A battery also converts chemical energy to electrical energy. Batteries have two voltage sources that have terminals that connect to wires in a circuit. One terminal is positive and another one is negative.
Click in the Tools boxes to get a voltmeter and an ammeter. Put the voltmeter near the battery and place the red tab at one end and the black at the other What is the voltage (V)? (2 points)
Place the ammeter crosshairs over the moving blue dots. How many Amps of current (I) is flowing through your circuit? (2 points) Amperage:___0.90 amperes___
Using Ohm’s law V = I x R (page 607 in textbook) calculate the resistance of the light bulb. Don’t forget the units! (3 points) 9.00 = 0.90 * R; to find R; divide 9.00/0.90 to get 10.
Now place another light bulb into your circuit. You will have to remove one or more wires and then reconnect your circuit with new wires. What is the total resistance in your circuit now? (3 points) Resistance:__10 ohms_________
What happened to the brightness of the two light bulbs? (2 points)
The brightness of the two light bulbs got duller, and when there’s only one light bulb in my circuit it is brighter.
Now remove one of the wires connected to one of the light bulbs. This bulb will go out. What happened to the other light bulb? (2 points)
Both light bulbs went out.
What is the voltage and amperage in your circuit now? (4 points) Voltage:__9.00 V_____
Recall that Power is the rate of doing work. Electric power is measured in watts, or joules per second. We can calculate electrical power using this equation: P (watts) = I (Amps) x V (volts)
How many watts of power is one bulb using in your series circuit? Show work, include units! (4 points)
When one wire is disconnected, 0 watts of power is being used in my series circuit. When one light bulb is being used, but 8.1 watts of power is being used in my series circuit. (When ONE bulb is being used)
B. Parallel Circuits
Click the Reset All button to begin working on a parallel circuit.
Parallel circuits provide more than one path for electrons to move. Build a parallel circuit that includes about 10 wires, 2 light bulbs and 1 voltage source. Look at the top of page 610 in your textbook to make sure you have constructed your circuit correctly. The blue dots will be moving and both lights will be on once the circuit is complete.
Use the voltmeter and non-contact ammeter to measure the voltage and amperage. (4 points) Voltage:_9.00 V_____
Now remove one of...
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