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.

Series & Parallel Circuits

Lab Summary

Use a voltage sensor and current sensor to explore the properties of both series and parallel circuits.

Theory

This lab explores the properties of both series and parallel circuits by:

  • Measuring both circuit voltage and current while altering the voltage for a given circuit and evaluating how those measurements are related.
  • Finding the equivalent resistance of a circuit for both series and parallel resistors.

 

Method

Students will gain experience conducting the following procedures:

  • Setting up series and parallel circuits according to an electrical schematic.
  • Using an ammeter and voltmeter to measure current and voltage in a circuit.
  • Identifying resistors and their stated (color-coded) resistance (optional).

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:

Alligator clip adapters (optional) ~ 10

DC power supply, 10 V, 1 A minimum

Patch cord, 4 mm banana plug ~ 10

Resistors, at least 3 different known values ~ 3 to 6

Switch, single-pole single-throw ~ 1

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.