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Grp No.

___ Grp Name ____________________ Grp

members______________________________________________
PS2 Section ___ Date performed: _______________________ Date Submitted:
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Mapping Equipotential Lines

I. Prelaboratory Activity
1.In what ways is the acceleration due to gravity similar to/different from the electric field?
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2. In what ways are the mechanical potential energy and electric potential energy different/ same?
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3. What is an equipotential surface?
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4. Sketch the equipotential lines of the following object configurations:

Config 1. Two circular objects Config 2. Parallel bars

Config 3. Combination

4. Bring graphing paper for plotting the electric field and equipotential lines.

41 PS2 Introductory Physics 1 Laboratory Experiment

Mapping Equipotential Lines
Grp No. ___ Grp Name ____________________ Grp
members______________________________________________
PS2 Section ___ Date performed: _______________________ Date Submitted:
_______________________________
Figure 1: Mapping board connections
Mapping Equipotential Lines

II. Laboratory Activity

In this experiment, you will be able to visualize the equipotential lines and electric fields by determining
the potential at various points between electrodes.
What you need: Mapping boards of dipole, parallel bar and combination configuration, 1 x 12” banana plug patch cord.
Variable DC power supply (18V), 2 x 24” banana plug patch cords, digital voltmeter with probes, 2 sheets 10 mm grid
graph paper

What to do:
1. Choose one of the mapping boards. Make a prediction of how the equipotential lines will look like for the mapping
board that you have chosen.
2. Connect the electrodes of the mapping board to the power supply. Ensure that the power supply connections are
not shorted together. Turn on the power supply and adjust the voltage output to 12 VDC.
3. Examine the digital voltmeter (DVM). Ensure that the DVM is set to measure DC Volts within the range of 12
VDC. Connect the digital voltmeter to one of the electrodes with a banana lead as in Figure 1.
4. Using the DVM probe as the other conductor, measure the potential difference between the two electrodes by
touching the probe to the electrode. Record this value.
5. Plot on your graph paper a family of five equipotential contours corresponding to the equipotential values for 2V,
4V, 6V, 8V and 10V. This is achieved by recording the position of the DVM probe on the conducting paper with
respect to the marked grid while keeping the voltage reading constant.
6. Repeat for one of the other two mapping board patterns.
7. For each set of equipotential lines recorded, draw a family of electric field lines using the plotted equipotential
lines as basis.

42 PS2 Introductory Physics 1 Laboratory Experiment

Mapping Equipotential Lines
Grp No. ___ Grp Name ____________________ Grp
members______________________________________________
PS2 Section ___ Date performed: _______________________ Date Submitted:
_______________________________

Mapping Equipotential Lines

DATA SHEET
1. Data Tables
Data Board 1:_____________ Board 2:_____________
Points 2V 4V 6V 8V 10V 2V 4V 6V 8V 10V
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Data Board 3:_____________

Points 2V 4V 6V 8V 10V
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

2. Does the theoretical prediction of the electric field lines agree with your experimental observation for the parallel bars
(the two dimensional analog of the parallel plate capacitor)? Explain any variation.
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43 PS2 Introductory Physics 1 Laboratory Experiment

Mapping Equipotential Lines
Grp No. ___ Grp Name ____________________ Grp
members______________________________________________
PS2 Section ___ Date performed: _______________________ Date Submitted:
_______________________________

Mapping Equipotential Lines

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4. Can electric field lines intersect? Explain.
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5. Describe the orientation of the electric field lines with respect to the equipotential lines.
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6. What will be the potential difference just outside the conductor? How will the equipotential lines look like just outside the
conductor?
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44 PS2 Introductory Physics 1 Laboratory Experiment

Mapping Equipotential Lines