Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Voltage and Circuits

Figure from experiment 4 from Renewable Energy with Vernier


You have used electricity for most of your life, but do you know what it is? Electricity can be the sparks and crackling when clothing is pulled apart, and it can be lightning during a storm. It can also be channeled through wires and put to work turning fans, toasting bread, lighting lamps, and connecting you to the world over television, the internet, and phones.

Two terms that are used when discussing electricity are voltage and current. Voltage is a colloquial term for potential difference, which is a way of describing the available energy for electrons to use for moving. The unit for potential difference is the volt. Current is the term for the flow of charged particles. In general, the higher the voltage, the more energy is available for electrons to use, and the greater the current. Current is measured in amperes.

In this exploration, you will have an opportunity to use electricity in small, safe amounts. By investigating how electricity interacts with different objects, you will gradually learn to use electricity effectively to create your own circuits, systems, and devices.


  • Detect the presence of current in a wire.
  • Explore different types of light bulbs.
  • Measure voltage.

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?

Experiment 4 from Renewable Energy with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Renewable Energy with Vernier</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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