Chapter 2

From the previous chapter we know that the current flowing through the resistors will result in p.d.s being developed across them. We also know that the sum of these p.d.s must equal the value of the applied emf. Thus V1 ϭ IR1 volt; V2 ϭ IR2 volt; and V3 ϭ IR3 volt

32

Fundamental Electrical and Electronic Principles

D.C. Circuits
E ϭ IR volt. Also, E ϭ V1 ϩ V2 ϩ V3 volt

However, the circuit current I depends ultimately on the applied emf E and the total resistance R offered by the circuit. Hence

Learning Outcomes
and substituting for E, V1, V2 and V3 in this last equation we have IR ϭ IR1 ϩ IR2 ϩ IR3 volt and dividing this last equation by the common factor I R ϭ R1 ϩ R2 ϩ R3 ohm (2.1) where R is the total circuit resistance. From this result it may be seen that when resistors are connected in series the total resistance is found simply by adding together the resistor values.

This chapter explains how to apply circuit theory to the solution of simple circuits and networks by the application of Ohm’s law and Kirchhoff’s laws, and the concepts of potential and current dividers.

This means that on completion of this chapter you should be able to:

1 Calculate current flows, potential differences, power and energy dissipations for circuit components and simple circuits, by applying Ohm’s law. 2 Carry out the above calculations for more complex networks using Kirchhoff’s Laws. 3 Calculate circuit p.d.s using the potential divider technique, and branch currents using the current divider technique. 4 Understand the principles and use of a Wheatstone Bridge. 5 Understand the principles and use of a slidewire potentiometer.

2.1

Resistors in Series

Worked Example 2.1 Q
For the circuit shown in Fig. 2.2 calculate (a) the circuit resistance, (b) the circuit current, (c) the p.d. developed across each resistor, and (d) the power dissipated by the complete circuit.

Resistors cascaded or connected in series

When resistors are connected ‘end-to-end’ so that the same current flows through them all they are said to be cascaded or connected in series. Such a circuit is shown in Fig. 2.1. Note that, for the sake of simplicity, an ideal source of emf has been used (no internal resistance).
R3

A
E ϭ 24 V; R1 ϭ 330 ; R2 ϭ 1500 ; R3 ϭ 470
R1 330 Ω R2 1.5 kΩ V1 I E V2 R3 470 Ω V3

or

R1

R2

V1

V2

V3

I

E

24 V

Fig. 2.1

31

Fig. 2.2

43 ϫ 10Ϫ3 P ϭ 0.90 V Ans Note: The sum of the above p. P1 ϭ I 2R1 watt ϭ (10.65 volts Ans VAB I E 12 V VBC V3 ϭ IR3 volt ϭ 10.93 mW P2 ϭ (10. thus reducing the rounding errors to an acceptable minimum.2 Q Two resistors are connected in series across a battery of emf 12 V. 2.18 mW 2 VBC ϭ PBC watt RBC 2 VBC ϭ PBC ϫ RBC ϭ 4 ϫ 16 total power: P ϭ P1 ϩ P2 ϩ P3 watt so P ϭ 250.C. then this information must form the starting point for the solution of the problem.3.25 W or 250 mW Ans It should be noted that the power is dissipated by the three resistors in the circuit. across the 16 resistor (and it is not important which of these is calculated rst).d.5 RAB ϭ R Ϫ RBC ϭ 24 Ϫ 16 so RAB ϭ 8 Ans Alternatively. Using these data we can determine either the current through or the p. R ϭ ϭ E ohm I 12 ϭ 24 Ω 0. the circuit power could have been determined by calculating the power dissipated by each of these and adding these values to give the total.43 ϫ 10Ϫ3 )2 ϭ 51. which forms an integral part of the solution.99 V instead of 24 V due to the rounding errors in the calculation. and (b) the value of the other resistor.43 ϫ 10Ϫ3 )2 ϫ 330 P1 ϭ 35. B 16 Ω C V2 ϭ IR2 volt ϭ 10. is shown in Fig.43 ϫ 10Ϫ3 ϫ 1500 V2 ϭ 15. 2. This is shown below. This latter value was then stored in the calculator memory and used in the calculations for part (c).3 k Ans (b) I ϭ E amp R A ϭ 24 2300 I ϭ 10.44 mw (Note the worsening e ect of continuous rounding error) ϭ 64 . then calculate (a) the circuit current.4347 mA. ϭ 330 ϩ 1500 ϩ 470 R ϭ 2300 or 2.5 A Ans (b) total resistance.43 mA Ans (c) V1 ϭ IR1 volt ϭ 10. Hence.25 16 so I ϭ 0. Fig.D.3 E ϭ 12 V.s is 23.43 ϫ 10Ϫ3 ϫ 470 V3 ϭ 4. To illustrate this point both methods will be demonstrated.43 mA whereas the calculator answer is 10. and serves. The appropriate circuit diagram.43 ϫ 10Ϫ3 )2 ϫ 1500 ϫ 470 ϭ 163.44 V Ans A Since the only two pieces of data that are directly related to each other concern the 16 resistor and the power that it dissipates. RBC ϭ 16 . as a check for the last answer. the problem can be solved thus: (a) (d) P ϭ EI watt ϭ 24 ϫ 10. It should also be noted that the value quoted for the current was 10. If one of the resistors has a value of 16 and it dissipates a power of 4 W. PBC ϭ 4 W (a) I2RBC ϭ PBC watt I2 ϭ ϭ PBC RBC 4 ϭ 0. Circuits 33 34 Fundamental Electrical and Electronic Principles (a) R ϭ R1 ϩ R2 ϩ R3 ohm Worked Example 2.33 mW P3 ϭ (10.d.43 ϫ 10Ϫ3 ϫ 330 V1 ϭ 3.

2.4.2) 2. Using this form of connection means that there will be a number of paths through which the current can flow. but does give the total circuit conductance (G) which is measured in Siemens (S). and ϭ R ohm R G (2. Such a circuit consisting of three resistors is shown in Fig. Thus. and I 3 ϭ amp R1 R2 R3 so I ϭ 0. Circuits 35 36 Fundamental Electrical and Electronic Principles so VBC ϭ 8 V V I ϭ BC amp RBC ϭ 8 16 Since all three resistors are connected directly across the battery terminals then they all have the same voltage developed across them. Now. I 2 ϭ amp. conductance is the reciprocal of resistance. each resistor will allow a certain value of current to flow through it.4) .5 so RAB ϭ 8 Ans Also.4 R1 ϫ R2 ohm R1 ϩ R2 (2. 2. so I ϭ E amp R RAB ϭ VAB I ϭ 4 0. then the total circuit current must be the sum of the three branch currents so I ϭ I1 ϩ I 2 ϩ I 3 and substituting the above expression for the currents: E E E E ϭ ϩ ϩ R R1 R2 R3 and dividing the above equation by the common factor E: 1 1 1 1 ϭ ϩ ϩ siemen R R1 R2 R3 (2. depending upon its resistance value. so to obtain the circuit resistance you must then take the reciprocal of the answer obtained from an equation of the form of equation (2.5 A Ans (b) VAB ϭ E Ϫ VBC volt ϭ 12Ϫ8 VAB ϭ 4 V The total circuit current I is determined by the applied emf and the total circuit resistance R. I1 R1 Conductance is a measure of the ‘willingness’ of a material or circuit to allow current to flow through it I2 R2 That is 1 1 ϭ G siemen. In other words the voltage is the common factor in this arrangement of resistors. Thus I1 ϭ E E E amp.C.2). when only two resistors are in parallel the combined resistance may be obtained directly by using the following equation: I3 R3 I E Rϭ Fig. and the circuit may be analysed as follows: Resistors in Parallel or or or Note: The above equation does NOT give the total resistance of the circuit. since all three branch currents originate from the battery.2 Resistors in Parallel When resistors are joined ‘side-by-side’ so that their corresponding ends are connected together they are said to be connected in parallel.D.3) However.

2. the word identical means having the same value of resistance If there are ‘x’ identical resistors in parallel the total resistance is simply R/x ohms. R1 ϭ 330 . From this it should be obvious that when resistors are connected in parallel the total resistance of the circuit is reduced. I3 ϭ ϭ I3 ϭ 51. This results in a corresponding increase of current drawn from the source.00303 ϩ 0.5.D.5 kΩ I ϭ 139.3 Q Considering the circuit of Fig.6. the circuit current could have been determined by using the values for E and R as follows Iϭ ϭ 24 171. Determine (a) the e ective resistance of the combination. (b) the current drawn from the source.6 ϭ 24 1500 I2 ϭ 16 mA Ans . E ϭ 24 V. I I1 I2 ϭ 0. and (c) the current through each resistor.73 ϩ 16 ϩ 51.68 Ans (reciprocal of 0. This is simply because the parallel arrangement provides more paths for current flow.00213 ϭ 0. (b) the three branch current.C.06 mA Ans (c) I ϭ I1 ϩ I2 ϩ I3 amp ϭ 72. 2. calculated (a) the total resistance of the circuit.005825) (b) I1 ϭ E amp R1 E 12 V R1 24 ϭ 330 I1 ϭ 72.8 mA Ans 24 470 E amp R3 Worked Example 2. suitably labelled is shown in Fig. R2 ϭ 1500 . one of 6 and the other of 3 resistance. Alternatively.4 Q Two resistors. 2. 2.1 (the same values for the resistors and the emf have been used).06 mA so I ϭ 139. A Worked Example 2.005825 S so R ϭ 171.000667 ϩ 0. and (c) the current drawn from the battery.68 E amp R I1 R1 330 Ω I2 R2 1. R3 ϭ 470 (a) 1 1 1 1 ϭ ϩ ϩ siemen R R1 R2 R3 ϭ 1 1 1 ϩ ϩ 330 1500 470 A The corresponding circuit diagram. Circuits 37 38 Fundamental Electrical and Electronic Principles In this context.73 mA Ans 6Ω R2 3Ω I2 ϭ E amp R2 Fig.8 mA Ans I3 R3 470 Ω E I 24 V Fig. are connected in parallel across a source of emf of 12 V.5 Compare this example with worked example 2.

since it means it is possible to calculate the p. and then (b) in parallel with each other. R3 ϭ 30 I (a) R ϭ R1 ϩ R2 ϩ R3 ohm ϭ 10 ϩ 20 ϩ 30 R1 E 50 V 75 Ω V1 so.1 ϩ 0.46 0.183 Ans Fig.5 ϫ 25 V2 ϭ 12. developed across each resistor will be in direct proportion to its resistance value. Circuits 39 40 Fundamental Electrical and Electronic Principles E ϭ 12 V.D. R ϭ 60 Ans (b) 1 1 1 1 ϭ ϩ ϩ siemen R R1 R2 R3 ϭ 1 1 1 ϩ ϩ ϭ 0. This is a useful fact to bear in mind. R ϭ Ans 11 S 60 60 ϭ 5. 5 V Ans Worked Example 2. 2. In order to demonstrate the potential divider effect we will in this case firstly calculate circuit current and hence the two p. R2 ϭ 3 6ϩ3ϩ2 1 1 1 1 ϭ ϩ ϩ ϭ 60 R 10 20 30 ϭ so. 2.s without first having to determine the circuit current. R1 ϭ 6 .46 11 Alternatively.7 .5 A Iϭ 100 V1 ϭ IR1 volt ϭ 0.5 V Ans V2 ϭ IR2 volt ϭ 0.d. a 20 resistor and a 30 resistor are connected (a) in series.5 Q A 10 resistor. A R1 ϭ 10 .05 ϩ 0. R ϭ 1 ϭ 5.d.d. Consider two resistors connected across a 50 V supply as shown in Fig. Calculate the total resistance for each of the two connections.s by applying Ohm’s law: R ϭ R1 ϩ R2 ohm R ϭ 75 ϩ 25 ϭ 100 Iϭ I2 ϭ E R2 ϭ 12 3 I2 ϭ 4 A Ans E amp R 50 ϭ 0.5 ϫ 75 V1 ϭ 37.C. R2 ϭ 20 . (a) Rϭ R1R2 ohm R1 ϩ R2 ϭ 6 ϫ 3 18 ϭ 6ϩ3 9 so R ϭ 2 Ans (b) E amp R 12 ϭ 2 so I ϭ 6 A Ans Iϭ 2.033 10 20 30 R2 25 Ω V2 so.7.3 Potential Divider (c) I1 ϭ E amp R1 12 6 I1 ϭ 2 A Ans ϭ When resistors are connected in series the p.

5 V Ans 100 25 and V2 ϭ ϫ 50 ϭ 12 . That is. Again.d. Any number can be accommodated. these currents can be found directly.4 Current Divider It has been shown that when resistors are connected in parallel the total circuit current divides between the alternative paths available. the two p. by using the current divider theory. a ratio of 2:1 applies in each case. then the p.d. with three or ϭ 48 12 I1 ϭ 4 A and 48 24 I2 ϭ 2 A .5) R1 ϫ E volt R1 ϩ R2 Fig. across a parallel branch and dividing this by the respective resistance values. but may be applied to any number.s may be obtained by using the fact that the p. It is clear that R1 is half the value of R2.d.5 V Ans 100 V1 ϭ This technique is not restricted to only two resistors in series.8) are compared.s can more simply be calculated as follows: 75 ϫ 50 ϭ 37. So far we have determined the branch currents by calculating the common p. if there were three resistors in series. Although this sounds complicated it is very simple to put into practice. 2 Thus ϫ I flows through R1 3 1 and ϫ I flows through R2 3 Since I ϭ 6 A then I1 ϭ V1 ϭ R1 ϫE R1 ϩ R2 ϩ R3 V2 ϭ R2 ϫE R1 ϩ R2 ϩ R3 2 ϫ6 ϭ 4A 3 1 I2 ϭ ϫ 6 ϭ 2 A 3 In general we can say that I1 ϭ R2 ϫI R1 ϩ R2 and I2 ϭ R1 ϫI R1 ϩ R2 (2. the smaller resistor carries the greater proportion of the total current.. the current divider theory is not limited to only two resistors in parallel. 2. 2. For example. without the need to calculate the branch p.7) and V3 ϭ R3 ϫ E volt R1 ϩ R2 ϩ R3 2. across a resistor is given by the ratio of its resistance value to the total resistance of the circuit. across each may be found from It is now worth noting the values of the resistors and the corresponding currents. Thus.8. So.8) (2.6) and (2. from the calculation we obtain the quite logical result that I1 is twice the value of I2.6) V2 ϭ R2 ϫ E volt R1 ϩ R2 and using the above equations the p.d.7) you will find that the numerator in (2. Consider two resistors connected in parallel across a source of emf 48 V as shown in Fig.d.7) the numerator is R2. However. Expressed in the form of an equation it means E 48 V 12 Ω R1 R2 24 Ω V1 ϭ (2.d. expressed as a proportion of the applied voltage.C. method we can calculate the two currents as follows: I2 ϭ ϭ E amp R2 I1 ϭ E R1 and Note: This is NOT the same ratio as for the potential divider. Two ‘parts’ are flowing through one resistor and the remaining ‘part’ through the other resistor.5) is R1 whereas in (2.8 and (2. However.D. Circuits 41 42 Fundamental Electrical and Electronic Principles I I1 I2 Applying the potential divider technique. If you compare (2. Using the p.d. By stating the ratio as 2:1 we can say that the current is split into three equal ‘parts’. There is a similar ‘cross-over’ when (2.5) with (2.

6 I VAB VBC Q For the circuit shown in Fig.12 .12. Circuits 43 44 Fundamental Electrical and Electronic Principles 6Ω 5. 2. clearly showing all currents owing and identifying each part of the circuit as shown in Fig. 2.11 Thus.4 The original circuit may now be redrawn as in Fig 2.6 Ω A B I2 I 4Ω R2 C I1 Fig. and it is much easier for mistakes to be made.6 resistor. For this reason it is recommended that where more than two resistors exist in parallel the ‘p. 3/9 and 2/9 respectively for the three resistors.4 Ω C Worked Example 2.9 Fig. E 64 V Consider the arrangement shown in Fig.11. 2. R1 3Ω I1 6Ω R1 5. 2.6 Ω 4Ω more parallel resistors the current division method can be cumbersome to use. A 5. and (c) the power dissipated by the 5. I 3 ϭ ϫ 18 ϭ 4 A 9 9 9 (a) To determine the current I drawn from the battery we need to know the total resistance RAC of the circuit. So. the current ratios will be 4/9.C.d. method’ is used.5 Series/Parallel Combinations Most practical circuits consist of resistors which are interconnected in both series and parallel forms. E 64 V A The rst step in the solution is to sketch and label the circuit diagram. 2. I2 4Ω R3 6Ω R2 I3 I 18 A E 64 V Fig. 2.D. RBC ϭ ϭ 6ϫ4 product (using for two resistors in parallel) ) 6ϩ4 sum 24 10 so RBC ϭ 2. calculate (a) the current drawn from the supply.10. This will be illustrated in the next section. we have 4 ϩ 3 ϩ 2 ϭ 9 ‘parts’.9: 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 4ϩ3ϩ2 ϭ ϩ ϩ ϭ ϩ ϩ ϭ 3 4 6 12 R R1 R2 R3 Fig. This is best illustrated by means of a worked example. (b) the current through the 6 resistor. Also note that since there is no mention of internal resistance it may be assumed that the source of emf is ideal. 2. I1 ϭ 4 3 2 ϫ 18 ϭ 8 A.6 Ω B 2. I 2 ϭ ϫ 18 ϭ 6 A. but for completeness the application to three resistors is shown below. 2.10 and examining the numerator. The simplest method of solving such a circuit is to reduce the parallel branches to their equivalent resistance values and hence reduce the circuit to a simple series arrangement.

4 ohm ϭ R1 ϩ R2 4ϩ6 RBC ϭ 5 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ϭ ϩ ϩ ϭ ϩ ϩ RCD R4 R5 R6 3 6 8 ϭ so. 2.4 ϩ 5 ϩ 1. and (d) the power dissipated by the 5 resistor.8 V 8 ϩ 4 ϩ 3 15 ϭ S 24 24 24 RCD ϭ ϭ 1.6 15 R ϭ RAB ϩ RBC ϩ RCD ohm R ϭ 2.6 ϩ 2.s and branch currents. 2. Both of these are now demonstrated.14. I1 ϭ R2 ϫ I amp R1 ϩ R2 (a) RAB ϭ Fig.4 W Ans Alternatively.d. current division method: Considering Fig.6 ϭ 9 Iϭ E 18 amp ϭ R 9 I ϭ 2 A Ans PAB ϭ 44. I4 I1 R1 4Ω A I2 R2 6Ω I3 B R3 I5 5Ω C I6 3Ω R5 D 6Ω R6 8Ω VAB I E 18 V VBC VCD R4 so.13 ϭ 19 . Circuits 45 46 Fundamental Electrical and Electronic Principles RAC ϭ RAB ϩ RBC ohm (resistors in series) Worked Example 2.2 ϭ 4. VBC ϭ 19. 2.7 Q R4 R1 R3 4Ω R2 6Ω 8Ω 5Ω 6Ω R6 3Ω R5 ϭ 5.11. This shown in Fig.14 ϭ 4 ϫ8 6ϩ4 R1R2 4ϫ6 ϭ 2. 2. 2.4 so RAC ϭ 8 For the circuit of Fig.11) R1 E 18 V Fig.2 V I1 ϭ VBC amp (Fig.D.12) ϭ 8 ϫ 2. 2. Iϭ E 64 amp ϭ RAC 8 so I ϭ 8 A Ans (b) To nd the current I1 through the 6 resistor we may use either of two methods. 2. method: VBC ϭ IRBC volt (Fig. (b) the p.C.13 calculate (a) the current drawn from the source.2 ϩ 4. across each resistor.2 6 A The rst step in the solution is to label the diagram clearly with letters at the junctions and identifying p.4 W Ans .2 A Ans This answer may be checked as follows: I1 ϭ VBC amp R2 ϭ 19.6 so. I1 ϭ 3.d. However. PAB ϭ 358. PAB ϭ VAB I watt where VAB ϭ E Ϫ VBC volt ϭ 64Ϫ19.2 ϭ 44.d. the current I splits into the components I1 and I2 according to the ratio of the resistor values.8 A 4 and since I ϭ I1 ϩ I2 ϭ 3. I1 ϭ 3.8 ϭ 8 A which agrees with the value found in (a). PAB ϭ 358. you must bear in mind that the larger resistor carries the smaller proportion of the total current.2 A Ans (c) PAB ϭ I2RAB watt ϭ 82 ϫ 5.4 so. p.8 ϫ 8 so. (c) the current through each resistor.

8 or ϭ R2 6 I2 ϭ R1 4 ϫI ϭ ϫ2 10 R1 ϩ R2 I2 ϭ 0. way of stating this is to say that the sum of the currents arriving at a junction is equal to the sum of the currents leaving that junction.d.067 A Ans I6 ϭ 0. It is left to the reader to con rm that the other two power equations above VCD = 3. Another.4 VAB ϭ 4.d.16 illustrates a junction within a circuit with a number of currents arriving and leaving the junction. Figure 2. thus: I1 ϩ I 3 ϩ I 4 ϭ I 2 ϩ I 5 (2.8 VAB ϭ or 4 R1 I1 ϭ R2 6 ϫI ϭ ϫ2 R1 ϩ R2 10 We have already put this law into practice.533 A Ans I6 ϭ 3 ϫ2 15 Fig.4 A Ans .4 Ω B 2. is common to R4.2 ϭ R5 6 ϭ 8 ϩ 4 ϩ 3 15 ϭ 24 24 I5 ϭ 0.067 A Ans ϭ 1 1 1 ϩ ϩ 3 6 8 I5 ϭ VCD 3. where the assumption has been made that the sum of the branch currents equals the current drawn from the source.533 A Ans 8 ϫ2 so I4 ϭ 15 I1 I2 I3 I5 I4 I6 ϭ VCD 3.15 (c) I1 ϭ 4.15.8 A Ans I3 ϭ I ϭ 2 A Ans I4 ϭ VCD 3 .2 A Ans I1 ϭ 1.D. though without stating it explicitly.2 A Ans I2 ϭ VAB 4 . Thus we have applied the law with parallel circuits. R5 and R6) 5Ω C D 1.6 Ω A 2.4 A Ans 4 ϫ2 I5 ϭ 15 I5 ϭ 0. Expressing the law in the form of an equation we have: ⌺I ϭ 0 where the symbol means ‘the sum of ’.d.C. 2. is common to both R1 and R2) VBC ϭ IRBC volt ϭ 2 ϫ 5 VBC ϭ 10 V Ans VCD ϭ IRCD volt ϭ 2 ϫ 1. 2. 2.2 ϭ R6 8 I4 ϭ 1. Circuits 47 48 Fundamental Electrical and Electronic Principles (b) The circuit has been reduced to its series equivalent as shown in Fig.6 Kirchho ’s Current Law I E 18 V VAB VBC VCD Fig.8 A Ans I2 ϭ 0. and perhaps simpler. method is an easier and less cumbersomeone than current division when more than two resistors are connected in parallel.16 I6 ϭ 0.2 V Ans (this p.2 ϭ or R4 3 1 1 1 1 ϭ ϩ ϩ RCD R4 R5 R6 I4 ϭ 1. (d) or and using the rst of these alternative equation: P3 ϭ 22 ϫ 5 P3 ϭ 20 W Ans 2 VBC watt R3 2 P3 ϭ I 3 R3 watt or VBCI3 watt Notice that the p.9) I1 ϭ 1.d.6 yield the same answer. The law states that the algebraic sum of the currents at any junction of a circuit is zero. Applying Kirchhoff ’s current law yields: I1 Ϫ I 2 ϩ I 3 ϩ I 4 Ϫ I 5 ϭ 0 where ‘ϩ’ signs have been used to denote currents arriving and ‘Ϫ’ signs for currents leaving the junction. across each section of the circuit.8 V Ans (this p. This equation can be transposed to comply with the alternative statement for the law. Using this equivalent circuit it is now a simple matter to calculate the p. VAB ϭ IRAB volt ϭ 2 ϫ 2.

This law states that in any closed network the algebraic sum of the emfs is equal to the algebraic sum of the p.17 A Junction A: I2 ϭ 40 ϩ 10 ϭ 50 A Ans 1 The circuit has been labelled with letters so that it is easy to refer to a particular loop and the direction around the loop that is being considered.18 owing away from the junction rather than towards it as shown.8 Q I5 F 30 A For the network shown in Fig.7 Kirchho ’s Voltage Law This law also has already been used — in the explanation of p. 2. So far. and in the series and series/parallel circuits.d. In this case we have said that the sum of the p. Circuits 49 50 Fundamental Electrical and Electronic Principles Worked Example 2. it may well turn out that one or more of these currents actually flows in the opposite direction to that marked.d. such as resistors connected in series across a source of emf. of emf. or the network is more complex.10) 40 A A I2 10 A I4 I3 E 25 A 80 A D B I1 C A generalised circuit requiring the application of Kirchhoff ’s laws is shown in Fig. Thus marking the third-branch current in this way means .s is equal to the applied emf (e.17 calculate the values of the marked currents. Expressing the law in mathematical form: ⌺ E ϭ ⌺ IR (2. 2. This is an important point since the solution involves the use of simultaneous equations.D. 2. i. make the initial assumption that all sources of emf are discharging current into the circuit. and the fewer the number of ‘unknowns’ the simpler the solution. and is simple to apply. the law sounds very complicated. 2. current leaves the positive terminal of each battery and enters at its negative terminal. If a counterclockwise path was required. When more than one source of emf is involved. V1 ϩ V2 ϭ E). and could be solved using simple Ohm’s law techniques.e. then a network analysis method must be used. Thus.C.d. it has been applied only to very simple circuits. The current law is also applied at this stage.18. and you wish to trace a path around it in a clockwise direction. As was found in the previous worked example (2.g. but it is really only common sense. which is why the current flowing through R3 is marked as (I1 ϩ I2) and not as I3.8). Once again. it would be referred to as FEBAF or AFEBA. However. 2. Kirchhoff ’s is one of these methods. these simple circuits have had only one source 2 Current directions have been assumed and marked on the diagram.s taken in order about the network. However. This result would be indicated by a negative value obtained from the calculation. Note the following: Fig. to ensure consistency. if the left-hand loop is considered. I1 A I2 B Junction C: I1 ϩ I 2 ϭ 80 C I1 ϩ 50 ϭ 80 so I1 ϭ 30 A Ans R1 (I1 ϩ I2) R2 R3 E1 E2 Junction D: I3 ϭ 80 ϩ 30 ϭ 110 A Ans Junction E: I 4 ϩ 25 ϭ I 3 I 4 ϭ 110 Ϫ 25 so I 4 ϭ 85 A Ans Junction F: I 5 ϩ I 4 ϭ 30 I 5 ϩ 85 ϭ 30 F E D I 5 ϭ 30 Ϫ 85 so I 5 ϭϪ55 A Ans Note: The minus sign in the last answer tells us that the current I5 is actually Fig. this would be referred to as ABEFA.

within the loop there are only two resistors (R1 and R2) which will result in two p. If the direction of ‘travel’ is opposite to the current arrow then the p. The value for the third branch current. The loop equation is therefore [3] ABEFA: F E D Fig. However it is a useful practice to do this as the ‘extra’ equation may contain more convenient numerical values for the coefficients of the ‘unknown’ currents.d. is then simply found by using the values obtained for I1 and I2. 2. so the sum of the emfs is E1 Ϫ E2 volt.20 ABCDEFA: E1 Ϫ E2 ϭ I1 R1 Ϫ I 2 R2 10 Ϫ 4 ϭ 3I1 Ϫ 2 I 2 so 6 ϭ 3I1 Ϫ 2 I 2 ……………[1] ABCDEFA: 10 ϭ 3I 2 ϩ 10( I1 ϩ I 2 ) ϭ 3I 2 ϩ 10 I1 ϩ 10 I 2 so 10 ϭ 13I1 ϩ 10 I 2 ……………[2] Since there are only two unknowns then only two simultaneous equations are required.19 determine the value and direction of the current in each branch. concentrate solely on that loop and ignore the remainder of the circuit. R1 3Ω E2 4V E1 10 V R2 2Ω R3 10 Ω that there are only two ‘unknowns’ to find.d. when you quote the answer for such a current. . Also note that if you are following the marked direction of current then the resulting p. from C to D.C. 2. Tracing around the loop it can be seen that there is only one source of emf within it (namely E1).D. 2. 2. 2. make a note to the effect that it is flowing in the opposite direction to that marked. However. namely I1 and I2. and three have been written. Thus the sum of the emfs is simply E1 volt. Consider first the left-hand loop in a clockwise direction. across the 10 resistor.g.s. This results in the following loop equation: [2] 10 V 3Ω 2Ω 10 Ω CBEDC: E2 ϭ I 2 R2 ϩ ( I1 ϩ I 2 ) R3 4V Finally. is assigned a negative value. A The circuit is rst labelled and current ows identi ed and marked by applying the current law. This is shown in Fig. I1R1 and (I1 ϩ I2)R3 volt.20.9 Q For the circuit of Fig.18. 3 If a negative value is obtained for a current then the minus sign MUST be retained in any subsequent calculations. The complete technique for the applications of Kirchhoff ’s laws becomes clearer by the consideration of a worked example containing numerical values.19 Let us now apply these techniques to the circuit of Fig. and the p. This follows the ‘normal’ direction for E1 but is opposite to that for E2.d. let us consider the loop around the edges of the diagram in a clockwise direction. Also. Fig.d. Circuits 51 52 Fundamental Electrical and Electronic Principles Worked Example 2. The resulting loop equation will therefore be: [1] ABEFA: E1 ϭ I1 R1 ϩ ( I1 ϩ I 2 ) R3 A I1 B (I1 ϩ I2) C I2 Now taking the right-hand loop in a counterclockwise direction it can be seen that again there is only one source of emf and two resistors. I3. 4 When tracing the path around a loop. e.(s) are assigned positive values.

if the two are now added then the term containing I2 will be eliminated.5I1 hence.10 Q For the circuit shown in Fig 2.C.572 ϫ 10 so VCD ϭ 5.29 Ϫ10.572 A Ans VCD ϭ ( I 2 ϩ I 2 ) и RCD volt ϭ 0. 1.22. Circuits 53 54 Fundamental Electrical and Electronic Principles BCDEB: A Firstly the circuit is sketched and labelled and currents identi ed using Kirchho ’s current law. This is shown in Fig.5I1 ϩ 5( I1 ϩ I 2 ) ϭ 1. Fig.5I1 Ϫ 2 I 2 ……………[3] 12 I 2 ϭ 4 Ϫ 14. (I1 ϩ I2) E1 6V R3 5Ω 30 ϭ 15I1 Ϫ 10 I 2 ……………[1] ϫ 5 E2 4. .5 ϭ 1.5 ϭ 1. and hence obtain a value for current I1.[1] ϫ 2 7.D.21. I1 B R1 1. We shall use equations [1] and [3] to eliminate the unknown current I2.5I1 ϩ 5I 2 ……………[1] CBEDC: E2 ϭ I 2R2 ϩ ( I1 ϩ I 2 )R3 volt 4.5 ϭ 5I1 ϩ 7 I 2 ……………[2] ABCDEFA: E1 Ϫ E2 ϭ I1R1 Ϫ I 2R2 volt 6 Ϫ 4.5 ϭ 20. and (b) the p.857 A (charge) An so I 2 ϭ ns 12 ( I1 ϩ I 2 ) ϭ 1.5I1 ϩ 5I1 ϩ 5I 2 so. any pair of these three equations may be used to solve the problem.29 ϩ 12 I 2 (a) We can now consider three loops in the circuit and write down the corresponding equations using Kirchho ’s voltage law: ABEFA: E1 ϭ I1R1 ϩ ( I1 ϩ I 2 )R3 volt 6 ϭ 1. across the 5 resistor.5 V Fig.429 A Ans 28 Substituting this value for I1 into equation [3] yields. 6 ϭ 6.5 6V 4.72 V Ans Worked Example 2. thus: 12 ϭ 13I1 ϩ 10 I 2 …………… .5 ϭ 2 I 2 ϩ 5( I1 ϩ I 2 ) ϭ 2 I 2 ϩ 5I1 ϩ 5I 2 so.951 A Ans 20. 1. using the technique of simultaneous equations. and then add the two modi ed equations together.22 4 ϭ 14.5 Ω 2Ω 5Ω Now.21 .857 ϭ 0. 2.5I1 Ϫ 2 I 2 so. and hence a value can be obtained for I1.5 ϭ 0. 2.5 V 10 ϭ 13I1 ϩ 10 I 2 ……………[2] 40 ϭ 28 I1 F E D so I1 ϭ 40 ϭ 1.5 ϭ 7.5I1 Ϫ 10 I 2 ……………[3] ϫ 5 19. 4. I1 ϭ 19 .29 ϭϪ0. To do this we can multiply [1] by 2 and [3] by 5.5 Ω I2 4 ϭ 2 I 2 ϩ 10( I1 ϩ I 2 ) ϭ 2 I 2 ϩ 10 I1 ϩ 10 I 2 A so 4 ϭ 10 I1 ϩ 12 I 2 ……………[3] C R2 2Ω Inspection of equations [1] and [2] shows that if equation [1] is multiplied by 5 then the coe cient of I2 will be the same in both equations.d. Thus. 2. use Kirchho ’s Laws to calculate (a) the current owing in each branch of the circuit.429 Ϫ 0.

5 ϫ 0.5 ϩ 0. ABDCA.951 Ϫ 0. A third alternative is to multiply R3 by the current owing through it. though there are seven possible loops to choose from.d.4265 Notice that although there are five resistors. across the 5 resistor we can either subtract the p. ADCA.23 VBE ϭ E1 Ϫ I1R1 volt ϭ 6 Ϫ (0. The present level of study does not require you to solve simultaneous equations containing three unknowns. suitably labelled and with current flows identified is shown in Fig.5 ϭ 1.574 V Ans OR: VBE ϭ E2 ϩ I 2R2 volt ϭ 4. Current through 5 resistor ϭ I1 ϩ I 2 amp ϭ 0. (voltage drop) across R1 from the emf E1 or add the p. BCDB.5 ϭ (1. All three methods will be shown here. If you chose to use only the last three ‘zero emf ’ loops you would succeed only in proving that zero equals zero! VBE ϭ ( I1 ϩ I 2 )R3 volt ϭ 0. VBE ϭ 4. provided that the same answer is obtained each time. and the seven equations for the above loops are listed below.22. In order for you to gain this practice it is suggested that you attempt this exercise before reading further. and.5 ϭϪ0. These seven loops are: ABCDA. 2 I 2 ϭ 1. Thus only three simultaneous equations will be required for the solution. 2.427 Ϫ 1. the current law has been applied so as to minimise the number of ‘unknown’ currents to three.0366 ) so current through 5 resistor ϭ 0.0366 ϭ 0. across R2 to emf E2. Fig.0732 and I 2 ϭϪ0. ABCA: ADCA: ABDCA: ADBCA: ABDA: BCDB: ABCDA: E1 ϭ I1R1 ϩ (I1 Ϫ I3)R3 E1 ϭ I2R2 ϩ (I2 ϩ I3)R4 E1 ϭ I1R1 ϩ I3R5 ϩ (I2 ϩ I3)R4 E1 ϭ I2R2 Ϫ I3R5 ϩ (I1 Ϫ I3)R3 0 ϭ I1R1 ϩ I3R5 Ϫ I2R2 0 ϭ (I1 Ϫ I3)R3Ϫ(I2 ϩ I3)R4 Ϫ I3R5 0 ϭ I1R1 ϩ (I1 Ϫ I3)R3 Ϫ (I2 ϩ I3)R4 Ϫ I2R2 . This means that battery E1 is both supplying current to the 5 resistor and charging battery E2.0732 so. and ABCDA so.0366 A Ans Note: The minus sign in the answer for I2 indicates that this current is actually owing in the opposite direction to that marked in Fig.C.d. ADBCA. ABDA.573 V Ans OR: If you trace around these loops you will find that the last three do not include the source of emf.914 ϫ 5 so. the correctness of the answers obtained in part (a) will be con rmed. 2.951) Ϫ 2 I 2 1.8 The Wheatstone Bridge Network This is a network of interconnected resistors or other components.23. 2. A typical network.57 V Ans The very small di erences between these three answers is due simply to rounding errors. because E2 is being charged. It is nevertheless good practice in the use of Kirchhoff’s laws. Although the circuit contains only one source of emf.951 ϩ (Ϫ0.951 ϫ 1. VBE ϭ 4. and compare your results with those shown below.D. 2.5) ϭ 6 Ϫ 1. and so the answers to part (a) are veri ed as correct. depending on the application.914 A Ans (b) To obtain the p. Circuits 55 56 Fundamental Electrical and Electronic Principles Substituting this value for I1 into equation [3] gives: B (I1 Ϫ I3) R1 I1 A R5 I2 I R2 R4 (I2 ϩ I3) D E1 I3 C R3 1.0366 ϫ 2) ϭ 4. it requires the application of a network theorem such as the Kirchhoff ’s method for its solution.427 Ϫ 2 I 2 hence.d.5 ϩ (0. VBE ϭ 4. so for each of these loops the sum of the emfs will be ZERO! Up to a point it doesn’t matter which three loops are chosen provided that at least one of them includes the source.

ABDA: 0 ϭ 6 I1 ϩ 5I 3 Ϫ 3I 2 0 ϭ 6 I1 Ϫ 3I 2 ϩ 5I 3 ……………[1] 0 ϭ 5I 3 ϩ 1(I 2 ϩ I 3 ) Ϫ 4(I1 Ϫ I 3 ) ϭ 5I 3 ϩ I 2 ϩ I 3 Ϫ 4 I1 ϩ 4 I 3 0 ϭϪ4 I1 ϩ I 2 ϩ 10 I 3 ………… ……[2] .C.454 I ϭ 3. 2. 2.454 A Ans 4 Substituting for I3 and I2 in equation [2] A I2 1Ω (I2 ϩ I3) I 3Ω 0 ϭϪ4 I1 ϩ 2. current leaving battery ϭ current returning to battery.184 A Ans 163 Substituting for I3 in equation [3] (I1 Ϫ I3) 4Ω I3 C 5Ω B 6Ω I1 10 ϭ 4 I 2 ϩ 0.816 9.184 4 I 2 ϭ 9. equation [2] by 3 and then adding them 0 ϭ 12 I1 Ϫ 6 I 2 ϩ 10 I 3 ……………[1] ϫ 2 0 ϭϪ12 I1 ϩ 3I 2 ϩ 30 I 3 ……………[2] ϫ 3 0ϭ Ϫ 3I 2 ϩ 40 I 3 ……………[ 4 ] current arriving at B ϭ I total current leaving ϭ I1 ϩ I 2 so I ϭ I1 ϩ I 2 current arriving at C ϭ ( I1 Ϫ I 3 ) ϩ ( I 2 ϩ I 3 ) ϭ I1 Ϫ I 3 ϩ I 2 ϩ I 3 ϭ I1 ϩ I 2 ϭI 30 ϭ 12 I 2 ϩ 3I 3 ……………[3] ϫ 3 12 I 2 ϩ 160 I 3 ……………[ 4 ] ϫ 4 0 ϭϪ 30 ϭ I3 ϭ Multiplying equation [3] by 3.529 A Ans Since all of the answers obtained are positive values then the currents will ow in the directions marked on the circuit diagram.84 4 I1 ϭ 4.24 calculate the current through each resistor.12 Q If the circuit of Fig. 2. to 2 . 163I 3 30 ϭ 0. and the current drawn from the supply.D. ABDA: Worked Example 2. Worked Example 2. Circuits 57 58 Fundamental Electrical and Electronic Principles As a check that the current law has been correctly applied.25.24 A The circuit is rst labelled and the currents identi ed using the current law as shown in Fig.816 I2 ϭ ϭ 2. 2.24 is now amended by simply changing the value of RDC from 1 the current owing through the 5 resistor in the central limb.294 ϭ 1. Fig. 2.11 Q For the bridge network shown in Fig.074 A Ans I1 ϭ 4 D 10 V I ϭ I1 ϩ I 2 ϭ 1. calculate 0 ϭ 6 I1 ϩ 5I 3 Ϫ 3I 2 0 ϭ 6 I1 Ϫ 3I 2 ϩ 5I 3 ……………[1] BDCB: A The amended circuit diagram is shown in Fig.074 ϩ 2. consider junctions B and C: 10 ϭ 3I 2 ϩ 1(I 2 ϩ I 3 ) ϭ 3I 2 ϩ I 2 ϩ I 3 10 ϭ 4 I 2 ϩ I 3 ……………[3] ADCA: Multiplying equation [1] by 2.294 4.454 ϩ 1.24. equation [4] by 4 and then adding them Hence.

C. In addition. 2. Since I3 is zero then the 5 resistor plays no part in the circuit. zero current flows through it. across the 6 must be the same as that across the 3 resistor. where the values of resistors R1 to R4 are adjusted so that I3 is zero.27. Thus the circuit is reduced to a simple series/parallel arrangement that can be analysed using simple Ohm’s law techniques. This may be verified as follows. 2.D. across each of these must also be equal. current will flow between two points only if there is a difference of potential between the two points. Similarly. B (I1 Ϫ I3) R1 I1 A I2 R2 R4 (I ϩ I3) D I3 C R5 R3 At first sight this would seem to be a very odd result.d. 2. In this case we can ignore its presence and re-draw the circuit as in Fig. equation [2] by 3 and adding them Similarly.26. at balance. in any circuit. Being able to produce this condition is what makes the bridge circuit such a useful one for many applications in measurement systems.25 Fig. since point C is common to the 4 and 2 resistors. RADC ϭ 3 ϩ 2 ϭ 5 10 I2 ϭ ϭ 2A 5 and VAD ϭ 2 ϫ 3 ϭ 6 V 0 ϭ 12 I1 Ϫ 6 I 2 ϩ 10 I 3 ……………[1] ϫ 2 0 ϭϪ12 I1 ϩ 6 I 2 ϩ 33I 3 ……………[2] ϫ 3 Balance condition refers to that condition when zero current flows through the central arm of the bridge circuit. Circuits 59 60 Fundamental Electrical and Electronic Principles B B (I1 Ϫ I3) I1 6Ω I1 C 5Ω I2 R2 3Ω I2 D 10 V 2Ω (I2 ϩ I3) R4 2Ω A R1 R3 C 4Ω 4Ω I3 6Ω I1 A I2 3Ω D 10 V Fig. but will of course affect the values for I1 and I2. In this last example. then the p. then the p. so the potentials at B and D are equal.d. the values of Rl.26 BDCB: 0 ϭ 5I 3 ϩ 2(I 2 ϩ I 3 ) Ϫ 4(I1 Ϫ I 3 ) ϭ 5I 3 ϩ 2 I 2 ϩ 2 I 3 Ϫ 4 I1 ϩ 4 I 3 0 ϭϪ4 I1 ϩ 2 I 2 ϩ 11I 3 ……………[2] Multiplying equation [1] by 2. R3 and R4 are such to produce what is known as the balance condition for the bridge.27 . 2. This is because. So we must conclude that the potentials at junctions B and D must be the same. Since junction A is a common point for both the 6 and 3 resistors. 2. The value of resistance in the central limb has no effect on the balance conditions. due to a particular combination of resistor values in the four ‘outer’ arms of the bridge 0ϭ so o I 3 ϭ 0 A Ans 43I 3 Thus VAB ϭ VAD ϭ 6 V. E RABC ϭ R1 ϩ R3 ohm ϭ 6 ϩ 4 so RABC ϭ 10 E I1 ϭ amp RABC 10 so I1 ϭ ϭ1 A 10 VAB ϭ I1 R1 volt ϭ 1 ϫ 6 ϭ 6 V Fig. yet no current flows through this particular resistor! Now. R2. Consider the general case of a bridge circuit as shown in Fig. Here we have a resistor in the middle of a circuit with current being drawn from the source. the value of the emf also has no effect on the balance conditions.

. a better way to express the balance condition in terms of the resistor values is as follows. . However. 10 ϭ 12 I 2 ϩ 2 I 3 ……………………… .11) i.C. Determine (a) the p. . . R3 ϭ 4 and R4 ϭ 2 . Circuits 61 62 Fundamental Electrical and Electronic Principles VAB ϭ I1 R1 and VAD ϭ I 2 R2 Worked Example 2. . . Kirchho ’s voltage law is now applied to any three loops. and zero current flows through the central limb (2. the ratio of the two resistors on the left-hand side of the bridge equals the ratio of the two on the right-hand side. I2. therefore I1R3 ϭ I2R4……………[2] Dividing equation [1] by equation [2]: R5 2Ω I1 R1 I R ϭ 2 2 I1 R3 I 2 R4 R R so 1 ϭ 2 R3 R4 Fig. . .[1] BDCB: i. . 0 ϭ 20 I1 Ϫ 10 I 2 ϩ 8 I 3 ……………… .12) 10 ϭ 10 I 2 ϩ 2( I 2 ϩ I 3 ) ϭ 10 I2 ϩ 2I2 ϩ 2I3 so.11) to make R4 the subject we have R R4 ϭ 2 R3 R1 (2. . R2 ϭ 3 . .e. applying Kirchho ’s current law. . . . If the product of two diagonally opposite resistors equals the product of the other pair of diagonally opposite resistors. .e.[ 4 ] Thus if resistors R1. . B R1 20 Ω A R3 8Ω R2 10 Ω D E 10 V R4 5Ω C but under the balance condition VAB ϭ VAD so I1R1 ϭ I2R2……………[1] Similarly. between terminals B and D.[3] Using equations [1] and [2] to eliminate I1 we have: 0 ϭ 20 I1 Ϫ 10 I 2 ϩ 8 I 3 ……………[1] 0 ϭϪ20 I1 ϩ 8 I 2 ϩ 60 I 3 …………[2] ϫ 4 and adding. so current through R3 ϭ I1 and current through R4 ϭ I2. R1 R4 ϭ R2 R3 0 ϭ 8 I 3 ϩ 2( I 2 ϩ I 3 ) Ϫ 5( I1 Ϫ I 3 ) ϭ 8 I 3 ϩ 2 I 2 ϩ 2 I 3 Ϫ 5I1 ϩ 5I 3 so. . then the bridge is balanced.28 This last equation may be verified by considering the values used in the previous example where R1 ϭ 6 . 0 ϭϪ2 I 2 ϩ 68 I 3 ……………… .D. . VBC ϭ VDC so (I1ϪI3) и R3 ϭ (I2 ϩ I3)R4 but. and adjusted until a sensitive current measuring device inserted in the central limb indicates zero current.d. .28. and (b) the value to which R4 must be adjusted in order to reduce the current through R3 to zero (balance the bridge). . A The circuit is sketched and currents marked. R2 and R3 can be set to known values. . Note that as in this case there are three unknowns (I1. 2. 0 ϭϪ5I1 ϩ 2 I 2 ϩ 15I 3 ……………… . 2. . 6 4 ϭ 3 2 So for balance. ABDA: 0 ϭ 20 I1 ϩ 8 I 3 Ϫ 10 I 2 so. 2. . then we have the basis for a sensitive resistance measuring device.13 Q A Wheatstone Bridge type circuit is shown in Fig. . .[2] ADCA: and transposing equation (2. and I3) then we must have at least three equations in order to solve the problem. I3 ϭ 0.29. as shown in Fig.

Comparing this circuit with that of Fig. Circuits 63 B (I1 Ϫ I3) I3 5Ω C R5 2Ω (I2 ϩ I3) R3 8Ω R4 I1 R1 20 Ω A I2 R2 10 Ω D 10 V E Fig. It comprises three arms. VBD ϭ 0. 2.30. and a central limb contains a sensitive microammeter (a galvanometer or ‘galvo’). The general arrangement is shown in Fig.C. the resistances of which can be adjusted to known values. 2.27 and using equation (2.9 The Wheatstone Bridge Instrument This is an instrument used for the accurate measurement of resistance over a wide range of resistance values. R4 ϭ 4 Ans ϭ 2.12).0244 A 410 VBD ϭ I 3R3 volt ϭ 0. the value of the resistance to be measured (Rx) is given by Rx ϭ Rm Rv ohm Rd .29 and now using equations [3] and [4] we can eliminate I2 as follows: 10 ϭ 12 I 2 ϩ 2 I 3 ……………[3] 0 ϭϪ12 I 2 ϩ 408 I 3 …………[ 4 ] ϫ 6 10 ϭ 410 I3 10 ϭ 0. A fourth arm contains the ‘unknown’ resistance.D.195 V Ans and I 3 ϭ (b) For balance conditions R2R4 ϭ R1R5 R4 ϭ R1R5 ohm R2 20 ϫ 2 10 so.0244 ϫ 8 so. 2.

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