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SNC 1DE Date: _______________________

Lab Investigation
Verifying Ohm’s Law

Name: ____________________________
Partners: __________________________________

GOAL
 Verify Ohm’s Law experimentally

INTRODUCTION
Ohm’s Law states that the resistance across a load is the ratio of the potential difference
(voltage) to the current. In this lab, you will verify Ohm’s law by using known resistors. You will
use voltmeters and ammeters to measure potential difference and current. Pay close attention
to the units involved and the quality of your measurements. You will be using the data to make

SAFETY: THE RESISTORS HEAT UP QUICKLY. DO NOT RUSH THE LAB, BUT MAKE YOUR MEASUREMENTS
PROMPTLY. ONCE THE MEASUREMENT HAS BEEN RECORDED, DISCONNECT THE POWER SOURCE AND
ALLOW THE RESISTOR TO COOL DOWN BEFORE TOUCHING IT.

STOP AND ASK FOR HELP IF THE YELLOW HAZARD LIGHT TURNS ON FOR YOUR POWER SOURCE

PROCEDURE
Part A: Circuit Planning

1. Your teacher will demonstrate the proper setup of the circuit. Reminder: The voltmeter
is connected in parallel and the ammeter is connected in series.
2. In your lab groups, assemble the same circuit using the materials provided (power
source, ammeter, voltmeter, one resistor, alligator clips). Do not turn on the power
source.
3. Once completed, call your teacher over to make sure you have assembled the circuit
remaining two resistors.

4. Record the colour of the first resistor in Table 1.

5. Turn on the power source and move the dial up until you get readings on your ammeter
and voltmeter. Use LOW SETTINGS on the power supply.
6. Vary the voltage on the power source. Record at least four different current and
potential difference recordings for your resistor in Table 1.
7. Repeat steps i-iii for the other two resistors.
SNC 1DE Date: _______________________

Table 1: Data Collection

Test Resistor Colour: ________ Resistor Colour: _______ Resistor Colour: _______
Current Potential Current Potential Current Potential
(A) Difference (V) (A) Difference (V) (A) Difference (V)
1
2
3
4

Part C: Representing Data

On a separate sheet of graph paper, make a graph of potential difference (y-axis) and current
(x-axis). Your graph should start at (0,0) and you should choose a scale so that you can include
data for ALL 3 resistors on the one graph. Draw a scatter plot for your data, using a different
colour for each resistor.
a) Draw an estimated line of best fit through your data points (a separate line for each
resistor).
b) Label the axes, including the units of measurement.
c) Write a properly formatted title and caption for the graph. Make sure it is placed
correctly. Include a legend in the caption to identify which line is which.

1. Consider the circuit setup for this experiment.

a) Draw the associated circuit diagram using circuit symbols.
b) Why is the ammeter connected in series? Explain your reasoning.
c) Why is the voltmeter connected in parallel? Explain your reasoning.

2. Look at your graphs from Part C.

a) How well does each line of best fit describe your data? Comment on each resistor.
b) Calculate the slope of the line of best fit for each resistor. Show your calculations.

∆𝑝𝑜𝑡𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑑𝑖𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒
𝑠𝑙𝑜𝑝𝑒 =
∆𝑐𝑢𝑟𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑡

c) Extrapolate using your graph and the lines of best fit: If you need 2.5 A of current in a
circuit, how much electric potential would you need if you are using your first resistor? What
about the second or third resistors?
SNC 1DE Date: _______________________

3. Explain 2 factors that you think may have contributed to variation in the measurements you
recorded.

4. How might we use the relationship between current and electric potential in the
construction of electric devices? (It may be useful to use examples of devices.)

Submission:

1. Create a title page that contains the name of the lab, your name, your partners’ names,
the date, and your teacher’s name.
2. On the first page, write a purpose statement (Purpose: The purpose of this lab….).
3. Underneath the purpose statement, copy and paste the procedure. You can include the
diagram from analysis question 1a here, with a figure caption. Modify any parts of the
procedure if you did something differently, and remove instructions that are not related
to the collection of data (for example, calling the teacher over, etc).
4. Results. Put your table, with caption, and your graph, with caption, in this section.
5. Analysis. Answer questions 1b, 1c, 2, 3, and 4 in this section.
6. Conclusion. Write a short (2-3 sentences) statement answering the purpose statement of
this lab.
7. Submit a hard copy of your lab report in class on Nov 30th.
SNC 1DE Date: _______________________

Criteria Level 5 Level 4 Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 R

(Very high) (High) (Considerable) (Some) (Limited)
Thinking & Inquiry (Table): (weight: 5)
Guide to Tables criteria used with
 All data and labels included in correct
locations, legible
 Data recorded accurately and reflect correct
possible range of data for each resistor
 Table title is descriptive of contents of the
table, in ‘headline’ style & underlined with
table number. Hanging indent used to
highlight table number.
Communication (Graph): (weight: 5)
Guide to Graphs criteria used with a very
 Scale on axes chosen to fit all data; axes are
labelled with variable and unit (in brackets);
tick marks show where major divisions on
scales are located.
 On graph paper & in pencil. Takes up approx..
½ of the page. Neat, ruler used for lines.
Name and date on upper right corner of page.
 Caption at bottom, with figure number and
descriptive title underlined. Caption describes
trend(s) in prose. Hanging indent allows fig.
number to be seen prominently. May include
legend (or legend on graph)
 Points plotted clearly and accurately
 Potential difference shown on y-axis, current
shown on x-axis. Units shown in brackets.
Numbers evenly spaced and tick marks show
location of every 2, 5, or 10 numbers.
 All 3 resistors shown on same graph with their
own line of best fit which is drawn
appropriately for the data
Communication (Written): (weight 5)
Communication skills and conventions used
with a very high degree of effectiveness Comments:
 Scientific terminology used correctly and in
every appropriate case
 Answers are concise, specific and on topic but
not too brief.
 Information flows logically, clearly and without
any gaps
 No spelling or grammatical errors
 Mathematical symbols and conventions are
used meticulously
Application (Analysis Questions):
(weight 5)
Applies, transfers, and connects knowledge Comments:
with a very high degree of effectiveness
 Responses are accurate and appropriate
given the data collected
 Slope calculations are correctly done;
extrapolation values are accurate based on
lines of best fit provided
 2 factors contributing to variation in data are
likely and reflect a deeper understanding of
concepts; more than simple blaming of
students or equipment failure is provided
 Reasoning behind the relationship between I
and V reflects deep understanding of
concepts and ability to extend reasoning
beyond the current situation.
SNC 1DE Date: _______________________

Appendix A: Current and Voltage Measurement

The current or voltage through different parts of a circuit can be measured using an electrical device. The
device is known as a d'Arsonval galvanometer, though for simplicity it will just be called a "meter". It consists
of a coil of fine wire, mounted on a pivot, placed in a magnetic field, and attached to a spring. When there is
an electric current in the coil, the magnetic field exerts a torque on the coil, and it pulls the spring. The
restoring torque of the spring is proportional to the current in the coil. If the coil obeys Ohm's law, the
current is proportional to the potential difference (voltage) between the terminals of the coil. Depending
how the meter is configured and calibrated, it can be used to measure current, voltage, or resistance.

A meter that is configured to measure current is called an ammeter. It measures the current that is passing
through it. If it is placed in series in a circuit branch with other circuit components, it can measure the current
passing through that branch and components. In circuit diagrams, an ammeter can be represented as a letter
"A" inside a circle, in series with other components.

Real ammeters have a small internal resistance, though the lower this internal resistance is, the more
accurate the ammeter will be. If a resistor is connected in parallel with the ammeter, the ammeter can be
used to measure currents that would otherwise be off scale. This resistor is called a "shunt resistor", and
commercial ammeters may have several that the user can switch between to provide a range of
measurement scales.

A meter that is configured to measure the voltage is called a voltmeter. A voltmeter measures the potential
difference between any two points in a circuit. To do this, it must be connected between those two points, in
parallel to any circuit elements between these points. An ideal voltmeter would not allow any of the current
in the circuit to flow through it, since that would change the circuit that is being measured. This means that
an ideal voltmeter must have infinite resistance. Real voltmeters must have a finite resistance, though the
value can be very large to reduce the current that is diverted through the meter. In circuit diagrams, a
voltmeter can be represented as a letter "V" inside a circle, in parallel with other components.

Source:
http://www.softschools.com/notes/ap_physics/kirchhoffs_rules_and_resistors_in_series_and_pa
rallel/

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