Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Series and Parallel Circuits

Figure from experiment 23 from Physics with Vernier

Introduction

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.

Objectives

  • 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 features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Physics with Vernier »

Physics with Vernier

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Graph Matching
2ABack and Forth Motion
2BBack and Forth Motion
3ACart on a Ramp
3BCart on a Ramp
4ADetermining g on an Incline
4BDetermining g on an Incline
5Picket Fence Free Fall
6Ball Toss
7Bungee Jump Accelerations
8AProjectile Motion (Photogates)
8BProjectile Motion (Projectile Launcher)
9Newton's Second Law
10Atwood's Machine
11Newton's Third Law
12Static and Kinetic Friction
13Air Resistance
14Pendulum Periods
15Simple Harmonic Motion
16Energy of a Tossed Ball
17Energy in Simple Harmonic Motion
18AMomentum, Energy and Collisions
18BMomentum, Energy and Collisions
19AImpulse and Momentum
19BImpulse and Momentum
20Centripetal Accelerations on a Turntable
21Accelerations in the Real World
22Ohm's Law
23Series and Parallel Circuits
24Capacitors
25The Magnetic Field in a Coil
26The Magnetic Field in a Slinky
27Electrical Energy
28APolarization of Light
28BPolarization of Light (Rotary Motion Sensor)
29Light, Brightness and Distance
30Newton's Law of Cooling
31The Magnetic Field of a Permanent Magnet
32Sound Waves and Beats
33Speed of Sound
34Tones, Vowels and Telephones
35Mathematics of Music

Experiment 23 from Physics with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Physics with Vernier</i> book cover

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