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Resistors in Series and Parallel

Alyanna Joy G. Gomez


a b

College of Science, De La Salle University, Manila, Taft Avenue, 1000, Philippines Physics Department, De La Salle University, Manila, Taft Avenue, 1000, Philippines alyanna_gomez@dlsu.edu.ph gomez.yanna@yahoo.com

Abstract This laboratory report presents the measurements and calculations of current and potential difference of resistors in series and parallel connection. This paper also aims to verify equations relating current, voltage, and resistance in a circuit. Voltmeter and ammeter were used in measuring values for the voltage and current of an electrical device. Calculation of the equivalence resistance of a series, parallel and series-parallel combination was done. Data showed close approximation of the theoretical values with the computed values. The experiment provided me with better understanding of the use of resistors in series and parallel connection. Keywords current, potential difference/voltage, series connection in an electrical circuit, parallel connection, voltmeter measurement

I. Introduction Resistors determine the flow of current in an electric circuit by regulating current and resisting current flow measured in Ohms [4]. The concept of resistors was first discovered by George Simon Ohm and stated that voltage and current in a wire are related mathematically. Resistors in series have the same current flowing through each resistor and the voltage drop across the resistors must add up to the total voltage. A resistor in parallel has the same potential difference applied across each resistor and the total current is equal to the sum of the individual current through each resistor. Resistors are important in many electrical devices such as light bulb, polygraph, fuse and voltmeter [1]. The objective of this laboratory report is to determine the relationship between the current, voltage, and resistance in a series, parallel, and series-parallel combination. II. Detailed EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE The continuity of the wires was first tested using the VOM. Ammeter is used to measure current in series within the line of circuit of the current flow. Voltmeter is used to measure voltage and placed in parallel across the circuit element [6]. An ammeter should be placed in series between the current and node in an electrical circuit. On the other hand, a voltmeter is connected in parallel to measure the voltage across the device.

The first part of the experiment is the resistors in series in which the circuit elements should be arranged in series with resistances of 10 ohms, 20 ohms, and 30 ohms respectively. The voltages of the electric circuit were to be measured using voltmeter and the current measured by an ammeter. The second part of the experiment is the resistors in parallel wherein three decade resistance boxes should be set into 15ohm, 30 ohm, and 40 ohm respectively. After setting up the resistors in parallel with the battery, voltages were to be measured using a voltmeter and likewise current were to be measured by an ammeter. The last part of the experiment is the resistors in series and parallel. The circuit should be arranged in a way that decade resistance box 1 is in parallel with decade resistance 2 then these two are to be connected in series with decade resistance 3. The required resistances for each box are 10 ohms, 20 ohms, and 30 ohms respectively. The voltages of each resistor are to be measured using a voltmeter and the current of each resistor are to be measured using an ammeter. After getting the measured current and voltages for every setup, calculations regarding the total resistance, total voltages and total current are to be computed. A. Theory Ohms Law is involved in the experiment of resistors in series and parallel. Ohms law states the relationship between the current flowing through the resistance and the potential drop across it. Ohms law can be applied not only for a single resistor but also for a part of a whole circuit [3]. In this experiment Ohms Law will be applied in determining the potential difference across the resistance and the current flowing through the resistance. B. Equations Resistors in Series IT=I1 = I2 = I3 VT= V1 + V2 + V3 RT= VT/IT RT= R1 + R2 + R3 (1) (2) (3) (4)

Equation (1) says that the current flow of the resistors connected in series is the same throughout. Equation (2) says that the total applied voltage across the resistors is equal to the sum of the voltages across each resistor. Equation (3) says the equivalent resistance of the series combination is the ratio of the total voltage and the total current through it. Equation (4) says the equivalent resistance of the three resistors is equal to the sum of the individual resistances in series [6]. Resistors in parallel VT= V1=V2=V3 IT= I1 + I2 + I3 IT= VT/RT 1/RT= 1/R1 + 1/R2 + 1/R3 (5) (6) (7) (8)

Current 0.027A

Individual Currents I1= 0.027 A I2= 0.027A I3= 0.027A

0% 0% 0%

Table 2. Calculations on the total resistance, potential difference, and total current in series. Also includes the percentage difference for each. In a series connection, the voltage drop adds to the equal total voltage and resistances add to equal total resistances [6]. The experiment yielded good measurements on the individual currents as it has a 0% percent difference. However, there were some differences on the total resistance. The summations of the resistance were not the same with the ratio of the voltage and current. The error may come from R2 which had a voltage of 0 volts. This error may come from the electric circuit itself. Nevertheless, the data showed a close approximation on the measured VT and with the experimental data. It can be seen that there is a direct relationship between the resistance and voltages in a series connection.
Decade Boxs Resistance R1= 15 R2= 30 R3= 40 Measured Voltage V1= 0.80 v V2= 0.80 v V3= 0.80 v Measured 0.80 v Measured Current I1= 0.10 A I2= 0.034 A I3= 0.016 A Measured 0.16A

Equation (5) says that the potential difference or total voltage applied across the parallel combination is the same across each resistor. Equation (6) says the total current is equal to the sum of the individual current through each resistor. Equation (7) says that total current can be the ratio of the potential difference and total resistance. Equation (8) says that equivalent resistance of resistors in parallel is equal to the reciprocal of the sum of the reciprocals of the resistance in each resistor [6]. Resistors in series and parallel combination RT= R1 + (R2R3)/(R2 + R3) III. Figures
Decade Boxs Resistance R1= 10 R2= 20 R3= 30 Measured Voltage V1= 0.30v V2= 0v V3= 0.90v VT= 1.7v Measured Current I1= 0.027A I2= 0.027A I3= 0.027A IT= 0.027A

V T=

I T=

Table 3. Measured voltages and measured currents on resistors in parallel. (9) In a parallel connection, the potential difference or the the total voltage applied across the circuit is the same in each resistor. In this case for every resistor, it yielded a consistent voltage of 0.80v. The resistance and current in a parallel connection has an inverse relationship. RT= VT/IT 5.0 Measured IT 0.16A Measured Total Voltage RT= 1 (1/R1 +1/R2 +1/R3) 8.0 IT= I1+I2+I3 0.15A % difference

Table 1. Measured voltages and measured currents on resistors in series. The experiment verified that the current is same or equal for all resistors with the value of 0.027A for every resistance on the decade box. The same current flow through each resistor in a series connection implied by the theory and by the experiment done. Thus, IT= I1= I2= I3.
RT=VT/IT 63 Measured VT 1.7v Measured Total RT=R1+R2+R3 60 VT=V1+V2+ V3 1.2v Measured % difference 5.0% % difference 42% % difference

-38% % difference 6.7%

Measured % difference Individual Voltage VT= 0.80 v V1= 0.80 v 0% V2= 0.80v 0% V3= 0.80V 0% Table 4. Calculations on the total resistance, equivalent resistance and total voltage on resistors in parallel. It also includes its corresponding percentage difference. In a parallel connection, branch currents add to total current and resistances diminish to equal total resistance

[2]. The total current gave a very close approximation 0.15A from the measured current of 0.16A. However, there is a negative percentage difference on the calculated total resistance.
Decade Boxs Resistance R1= 10 R2= 20 R3= 30 Measured Voltage V1= 0.50v V2= 0.70v V3= 0.70v VT= 1.3v Measured current I1= 0.044A I2= 0.027A I3= 0.017A IT= 0.044A

Table 5. Measured voltages and measured currents on resistors in series and parallel combination. In a series and parallel combination, you cant assume a consistent value of current or a consistent value of voltage. This is due to the fact the circuit contains an element of both series and parallel connection [5]. However, it can be seen that there is a direct relationship between the resistance and voltage and an inverse relationship between the current and resistance.
RT=VT/IT 30 Measured VT VT= 1.3 volts R T = R 1 + R 2 R3 R2 + R 3 22 VT= (V1 + V2) VT= (V1 + V3) V1 + V2= 1.2 v V1+V3= 1.2v Measured currents I1 and (I2+I3) I1= 0.044A I2+I3= 0.044A % difference 36% % difference 8.3% 8.3%

relationship. The importance of voltmeter, ammeter, and resistance box are also vital in proper and accurate measurement of voltages, current, and resistance in an electric circuit. Several errors arose in the experiment such as the confusion in connecting the wires in their respective nodes on the different experimental setups. Several percentage errors were also present in the calculations of the value such as having a 0 voltage for a particular resistor and discrepancy on the theoretical and experimental values. Despite these shortcomings, I was able to familiarize myself with the flow of electricity on resistors in series and parallel connection.
V. Acknowledgement

I would like to acknowledge the assistance and support of Physics Department, DLSU in providing us with the instruments and laboratory manual needed for this experiment. I would also like to acknowledge my professor, Dr. Jade Trono for guiding us with lectures in the execution and completion of the experiment. I would also like to thank my groupmates Julienne Dela Pieza and Krysta Figueroa helping me in doing the experiment process and with the calculations in resistors in series and parallel. References [1]
Crowell, B., Applications of Resistors, http://www.vias.org/physics/bk4_04_04b.html (2009) Kuphaldt, T. R., Series-Parallel Combination Circuits, http://www.eng.cam.ac.uk/DesignOffice/mdp/electric_w eb/DC/DC_7.html (2004). Parks, J. E., Ohms Law IIIResistors in Series and Parallel Department of Physics and Astronomy, Tennessee (2007). Ryan, V. Physics Resistors, http://www.technologystudent.com/elec1/resist1.htm (2009). Resistors in Series and Parallel, http://www.utc.edu/Faculty/Harold-Climer/PHYS %20281/281%20LAB%203%20%20Resistors%20Series %20and%20Parallel.pdf (n.d.) Resistors in Series and Parallel, College of Science, Physics Department. De La Salle University, Manila. http://www.dlsu.edu.ph/academics/colleges/cos/physics/e xperiments.asp (2013) Series and Parallel Circuits, https://phys.cst.temple.edu/studentservices/lab_schedule s/pdf/experiments/lab_30.pdf (n.d.)

Measured total current IT= 0.044A

% difference [2] 0% 0% [3] [4] [5]

Table 6. Calculations on the total resistance, total voltages, and total currents on resistors in series and parallel combination. It also includes the percentage difference for each. In a series and parallel combination it is important to analyze that R2 and R3 are in parallel and the combination of these two is in series with R 1 [7]. The calculated resistance generated a lower value compared with the measured total resistance using the Ohms Law. This may be due to the connectivity of the wires and perhaps the strength of the battery at that time. Resistors 2 and 3 have the same measured voltage as they are in parallel. Likewise, the parallel combination R 23 is in series with R1 thus IT=I1=I23
.

[6]

[7]

IV. CONCLUSION

Theoretically and experimentally, the experiment enabled me to determine the different values of the voltages and current in resistors in series and parallel connection. Ohms Law is very useful in solving all the values needed for this experiment and to describe their