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Laws

ARC Workshop

Outline

Understanding Concepts

Example Problems

Kirchhoffs Laws

What are Kirchhoffs Laws?

Kirchhoffs laws govern the conservation of charge and energy in

electrical circuits.

Kirchhoffs Laws

1. The junction rule

2. The closed loop rule

Junction Rule

At any node (junction) in an electrical circuit, the sum of

currents flowing into that node is equal to the sum of currents

flowing out of that node, or: The algebraic sum of currents in a

network of conductors meeting at a point is zero.

The sum of currents entering the junction are thus equal to

the sum of currents leaving. This implies that the current is

conserved (no loss of current).

The principles of conservation of energy imply that the

directed sum of the electrical potential differences (voltage)

around any closed circuit is zero.

= 0

The following conventions apply for determining the sign of

delta V across circuit elements. The travel direction is the

direction that we choose to proceed around the loop.

1. Assume all voltage sources and resistances are given. (If not

label them V1, V2 ..., R1, R2 etc)

2. Label each branch with a branch current. (I1, I2, I3 etc)

3. Apply junction rule at each node.

4. Applying the loop rule for each of the independent loops of

the circuit.

5. Solve the equations by substitutions/linear manipulation.

Examples

Lets consider the following examples

Example 1: Express the currents in junction a as an equality.

1 =2 + 3

of 2 amps each, what is the value for the current entering the

junction?

Recall the junction rule for this case:

1 =2 + 3

We know the following values:

2 =3 = 2

Then, we can solve for current entering the junction:

1 =2 + 2 = 4

through each of the resistors.

Example 3 (contd)

The circuit has two nodes (at A

and B). We have the choice of

choosing only two of the three

loops shown (blue). This is

because only two of the loops are independent.

1 + 2 = 3

Node A

Node B

3 = 1 + 2

Loop 1

10 1 1 3 3 = 0

20 2 2 3 3 = 0

Loop 2

1 + 2 = 3

3 = 1 + 2

10 1 1 3 3 = 0

20 2 2 3 3 = 0

By substitution, the answer can be shown to be I1=0.143amps, and I2=0.429amps.

Example 4

Find the current across the 10V battery.

References

"Free Online Course Materials. Physics. MIT

OpenCourseWare." Web. 28 Feb. 2012.

<http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/>.

"Physics for Engineers and Scientists (Extended Third Edition)

[Hardcover]." (9780393926316): Hans C. Ohanian, John

T. Markert. 28 Feb. 2012.

<http://www.amazon.com/Physics-Engineers-ScientistsExtended-Chapters/dp/0393926311>.

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