Featured in PASCO’s Physics through Inquiry Teacher Guide

Physics through Inquiry Teacher Guide

(PS-2873C)

Features over 30 inquiry based labs covering the core topic areas of mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, thermodynamics and more.

RC Circuits

Lab Summary

Use a voltage sensor and current sensor to explore the behavior of a simple circuit of a resistor and capacitor in series.

Theory

This experiment explores the behavior of a simple series resistor and capacitor circuit. During this investigation, students compare:

  • The relationship between voltage across a capacitor as part of a simple RC circuit, and the current in the circuit as the capacitor charges and discharges.
  • The relationship between voltage across a resistor as part of a simple RC circuit, and the current in the circuit as the capacitor charges and discharges.

Method

Students will gain experience conducting the following procedures:

  • Constructing a simple RC circuit.
  • Using a voltage and current sensor to acquire data as the capacitor in the circuit is charged and discharged using a constant voltage source.
  • Measuring a changing voltage.
  • Measuring a changing current.

Sensors / Equipment Used:

PASPORT Voltage-Current Sensor

(PS-2115)

Allows students to safely measure voltage and current simultaneously without overloading the sensor. For use with PASPORT Interfaces.

Materials Used:

Charge/discharge circuit board

Banana plug patch cord, 4 mm ~ 5

AA batteries

Your Bundle Options:

Option 1:

Physics Starter Sensor Bundle

(PS-2923)

A sensor bundle specifically designed to get you started using probeware in your physics lab. Also: perform 26 of the 37 Lab Activities from Physics through Inquiry.

Option 2:

Physics Standard Sensor Bundle

(PS-2931B)

Contains the probeware needed to perform all 37 lab activities in the Physics through Inquiry lab manual.

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.