Components in an electrical circuit are in series when they are connected one after the other, so that the same current flows through both of them. Components are in parallel when they are in alternate branches of a circuit. Series and parallel circuits function differently. You may have noticed the differences in electrical circuits you use. When using some types of older decorative holiday light circuits, if one lamp is removed, the whole string of lamps goes off. These lamps are in series. When a light bulb is removed in your home, the other lights stay on. Household wiring is normally in parallel.
You can monitor these circuits using a Current Probe and a Differential Voltage Probe and see how they operate. One goal of this experiment is to study circuits made up of two resistors in series or parallel. You can then use Ohm’s law to determine the equivalent resistance of the two resistors.
To study current flow in series and parallel circuits.
To study potential differences in series and parallel circuits.
Use Ohm’s law to calculate equivalent resistance of series and parallel circuits.
Sensors and Equipment
This experiment requires each of the following Vernier sensors and equipment (unless otherwise noted):
Step-by-step instructions for computer-based data collection
List of materials and equipment
Note: The experiment preview of the computer edition does not include essential teacher information, safety tips, or sample data. Instructions for Logger Pro and other software (such as LabQuest App or TI handheld software, where available) are on the CD that accompanies the book. We strongly recommend that you purchase the book before performing experiments.