Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Current and Resistors

Figure from experiment 5 from Renewable Energy with Vernier


When electricity flows through an object or material, charged particles get a push from the potential difference, or voltage, applied to the material. In many cases, the more voltage there is, the more flow, or current, there is.

The flow of charged particles is different from the flow of water in a river or pipe. Typically, all the material in a river or pipe moves together and only rubs against the riverbed or the walls of the pipe. But charged particles often move through solid materials, such as copper, carbon, and tungsten. While moving things through solids may seem impossible, electrons are extremely tiny and can move among the atoms that make up a solid. In fact, at the scale of an electron, an atom is mostly empty space.

However, electrons moving through a solid material cannot move as swiftly as they would through a truly empty space, especially since the nuclei of the atoms stay still instead of going with the flow. The movement of electrons is so hampered by the structure of a solid material that they move at speeds on the order of mere centimeters per second.

Sometimes it is useful to allow only small currents, and objects called resistors are used in circuits to decrease electron flow by specific amounts. In this experiment, you will investigate how different resistors in a circuit affect voltage and current. Resistance is measured in ohms (Ω).


  • Measure current.
  • Measure voltage.
  • Explore the relationship between voltage, resistance, and current.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Additional Requirements

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

Renewable Energy with Vernier

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Renewable Energy: Why is it So Important?
2What is Energy?
3Project: Energy Audit
4Voltage and Circuits
5Current and Resistors
6Mechanical Power
8Exploring Wind Turbines
9Effect of Load on Wind Turbine Output
10Blade Variables and Power Output
12Turbine Efficiency
13Power Curves
14Power and Energy
15Project: Maximum Energy Output
16Project: Build a Wind Farm
17Exploring Solar Panels
18AEffect of Load on Solar Panel Output
18BFill Factor and IV Curve of a Solar Panel
19Variables Affecting Solar Panel Output
20Effect of Temperature on Solar Panel Output
21Project: Build a Solar Charger
22Exploring Passive Solar Heating
23Variables Affecting Passive Solar Heating
24Exploring Solar Collectors
25Variables Affecting Solar Collectors
26Project: Solar Cooker

Experiment 5 from Renewable Energy with Vernier Lab Book

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

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