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Determining the Relationship Between Current and Potential Difference

Maliha Zaman Period 8 Submitted to: Mrs. M. Rousseau 2012-02-13

Purpose: To determine the relationship between the current and the potential difference. Equipment and Materials: variable DC power supply switch 6 connecting wires voltmeter (or multimeter) ammeter (or multimeter) resistor graph paper Procedure: 1. Construct a table to record your observations. Power Supply Setting 1.5 3 4.5 6 9 Potential Difference (V) 0.6 1 5.2 9.3 5.5 Current (mA) 15 30 46 60 89

2. Make sure that the power supply is turned off. Record the resistance of the resistor (in ohms) in your table. The resistance value is printed on the resistor, or your teacher will provide you with the rating. 3. Connect the circuit shown on Figure 1.

4. Turn the power supply on, and set it to a low setting as instructed by your teacher. Close the switch. Record the potential difference (in volts) and the current (in milliamperes) in your table. Then open the switch.

5. Increase the setting on the power supply and close the switch again. Record the potential difference and the current in your table. Then open the switch. 6. Repeat Step 5 until you have 5 sets of data. Analyze and Evaluate: (a) Plot a graph of potential difference (on the y-axis) versus current (on the x-axis). This question has been answered on the graph paper. (b) Draw a line of best fit on your graph. You do not necessarily need to place the line through zero. This question has also been answered on the graph paper. (c) Calculate the slope of the line of best fit. The two points that have been used are (89, 8.4) and (75, 7). The slope of these two points is 100. (d) Compare the value of the slope with the resistance value of the resistor. What do you notice? The resistance of the resistor had been 100 , and this is equivalent to the slope of the points on the potential difference/current graph. (e) What is the relationship between current and potential difference? The relationship between current and potential difference is that the current through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the potential difference across the two points. The resistance is constant and independent of the current. (f) Compare the relationships between current, potential difference, and resistance. Use a graphic organizer to help you. By evaluating current, potential difference, and resistance, it can be established that there is a mathematical relationship between the three, which can be written in an equation:

If a graph were plotted of the voltage versus the current of an object, a straight-line relationship can be obtained, and the slope of this line would then equal the resistance of the material.

Apply and Extend: (g) Suppose you performed the activity with another resistor placed in series in the circuit. Would you expect to record a graph with a slope that is higher or lower than with one resistor? Why? Design and carry out an activity to test your hypothesis. If there were another resistor placed in series within the circuit, the slope of the graph would most likely be higher than what it would be with one resistor because the current would be slowed and the voltage would remain the same, creating a steeper line on the graph, which means a higher resistance. A resistor is something that opposes the flow of electrons, so multiple resistors placed in series would result in a higher resistance level. To test this hypothesis, a series circuit could be set up with two resistors and both the voltage and current could be recorded every time the setting on the power supply was increased. The data could then be transferred onto a graph, and a straight-line relationship could be drawn. The slope of this line would then determine whether or not the resistance in the circuit is higher or lower than the resistance in this experiment.