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Series and Parallel Circuits

I. Purpose:
To examine and better understand Kirchhoffs current and voltage laws and how
they apply to series and parallel circuits.

II. Theory/Introduction
Kirchhoffs current law will show us that at any resistor in the circuit, the sum of
all the currents flowing into that resistor is equal to the total sum of the currents
flowing out. Using the Vernier circuit board with the different types of resistors
we can precisely measure the current throughout the system at different nodes
(resistors). Using Kirchhoffs voltage law we will verify that the potential
difference in a closed circuit is equal to the sum of the voltage drops. Testing the
voltage drops and subtracting from the potential difference we should find that
sum is equal to zero.

III. Procedure
a. Initial setup
i. All tools for the experiment are included:
1. Digital Multimeter (DMM) used to measure voltages and current
2. Vernier Circuit Board
3. Power source used to supply power to the apparatus
4. Resistors to change the amount of resistance across the board
ii. Configuration
1. Place the desired resistors on the Vernier circuit board. When
measuring the voltage use the leads to connect the positive and
negative charge from the power supply to the resistors. When
measuring the current, connect the negative lead from the power
supply to the negative lead of the digital multimeter (DMM) and
the positive lead of the DMM to the Vernier circuit board.
iii. Operation
1. Using a Vernier circuit board place the resistors 25 (R1) & 75
(R2) in a series circuit
a. Set the power source to output 5V or less, using the
voltmeter to accurately verify output. then connect leads
to ends of resistors
b. Calculate and record voltage drop between R1, R2, Rs
c. Using the ammeter measure and record voltage, voltage
drop, and current across resistors R1 and R2 individually
then measure the voltage, voltage drop, and current
between both resistors
2. Repeat steps B & C for resistances 20 & 80, 33 & 68, 50 &
50, and
3. 100 & 100.
a. Using a Vernier circuit board place the resistors 40 (R1),
33(R2), and 62(R3) on the board placing R2 & R3 in a
parallel circuit.
4. Set the power supply to 3V
a. Using the ammeter measure and record the current at R1,
R2, and R3 individually. Then measure the total current
throughout the entire apparatus
b. Using a voltmeter record the voltage across R1, R2, and R3
individually. Then record the total voltage of throughout
the entire apparatus.

IV. Data, Calculations, Results, and Graphs

R1 R2 R1 R2 Voltage Drop Battery voltage Current X Current Y Current Z Battery Switch Close
75 25 3.78V 1.19V 4.98V 4.98V 48.6mA 189.7mA 6.29A 4.98V
82 20 4.0V .96V 4.97V 4.97V .05A .255A 6.28A 4.98V
68 36 3.24V 1.72V 4.97V 4.97V .048A .139A 6.28A 4.97V
50 50 2.51V 2.45V 4.97V 4.97V .049A .099A 6.28A 4.97V
100 100 2.52V 2.45V 4.97V 4.97V .025A .052A 6.28A 4.97V
200 100 3.37V 1.6V 4.97V 4.97V .017A .052A 6.28A 4.97V
300 100 3.72V 1.24V 4.97V 4.97V .013A .050A 6.28A 4.97V
Total Voltage
R1 R2 R3 R1 R2 R3 W X Y Z
40 36 68 2.99V 1.86V 1.12V 1.12V .048A .126A .126A .047A
Resistor Voltages Currents
Voltages Resistor Currents
V. Conclusion
a. Kirchhoffs current and voltage laws state, in the most basic of terms, that
voltage and current is never lost. We proved Kirchhoffs Voltage Law by
measuring the total voltage going in and out of multiple sets of resistors
connected together in a series circuit. In each case, the voltage going into the
circuit was equal to the collective sum of the total voltage going out of each
resistor. Kirchhoffs Current Law was proven by measuring the current running
through resistors connected in a Parallel circuit. Just as before, the current going
in and out of each circuit was never lost. Knowing that current and voltage is
never lost is a very useful tool in figuring out many things having to do with
circuits, such as how much current is flowing through a wire or how many Ohms
of Resistance a particular resistor puts out.

VI. Questions
a. How does the current through R
and R
, together compare with that through