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Electric current is a means by which electrical energy is transferred from one place to another for
utilisation. Charges in motion constitute an electric current. However, to maintain a steady current, a
source of emf is needed.

The Flow of Electric Current
A current is any motion of charge from one region to another. The illustration below shows
two bodies at different potentials. When these are connected with a wire, free electrons flow
from B to A until both bodies attain the same potential, after which the current ceases to
flow. Current flows if a potential difference exists throughout a conductor. This branch of
physics dealing with charges in motion is called current electricity.

The amount of charge flowing through a given cross-section of a conductor per unit time
constitutes electric current.

When a battery or a cell is connected across the ends of a conductor, the
exerts a force on the free

thus set up

electron causing them to move as shown in the figure. The arrows give the direction of the conventional current.

Current is a scalar quantity. The direction of conventional current in any circuit is the direction in which the positive charges
flow. Mathematically, for a steady current across any area,

where I is the current, and q is the charge that flows across that area in time t.
The S.I. unit of current is Ampere (A).

One ampere of current is said to flow through a wire if at any cross section, one coulomb of charge flows in one second.
In solid conductors, the current carriers are the free electrons; in electrolytes, the anions and cations; and in gases, the
electrons and anions.

Electromotive Force (EMF) and Voltage

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No current flows in a copper wire by itself, just as water in a horizontal tube does not flow. If one end of the tube is connected
to a tank with water such that there is a pressure difference between the two ends of the horizontal tube, water flows out of the
other end at a steady rate. The rate at which water flows out depends on the pressure difference, for a given tube. If the flow
rate (current) is to be kept constant, the water flowing out for
instance has to be put back into the jar to maintain the
pressure head. This requires work to be done by an external
agency. The above analogy brings out several features of
electrical current flow. An electric current flows across a
conductor only if there is an electric potential difference
between its two ends. To maintain a steady current flow, one
needs an agency, which does work on the charges. This
agency is called the electromotive force or emf.
In the case of water flow, the agency is the pump 'P' which
does work at a steady rate in putting the water back into the
tank. Just as for a given tube, the current of fluid flowing out
depends on its viscosity, the electrical current flowing for a
given potential difference depends on the electrical
resistance of the conductor.

The above circuit diagram shows the flow of charges. A steady electric current 'I' flows
through the resistance R, from A to B. That is, positive charges flow from higher potential
(A) to lower potential (B).
The potential drop from A and B is V. The source P of emf does work on these charges,
as they come through at B because it has to take the positive charges from lower to
higher potential. The charge is transferred from one end of the source of emf to the other
and 'qV' work is done on the charge. The source of emf by doing work on the electric
charges, maintains a potential difference V between its terminals.

Resistance and Resistivity
It is found experimentally that the current I flowing through a conductor is directly proportional to the potential difference V
across its ends, provided the physical conditions (temperature, mechanical strain, etc.,) remain constant. That is


V = IR

where R is the resistance of the conductor.
This equation, called Ohm's law, is named after G.S. Ohm who first discovered it in 1828. The unit of resistance is Ohm
(1W = 1VA-1). Ohm's law is only empirical. These conductors (e.g.; metals) which obey Ohm's law are called Ohmic
If the material is not Ohmic, the relation between V and I is not linear, so that R is not constant. Still, R=V/I serves as the
definition of resistance.

The resistance of a resistor depends on the nature of the material, its geometrical features (length and cross-sectional area)
and on the temperature and pressure. It is useful to separate out the dependence on the geometrical factor.

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the constant of proportionality. The inverse of resistivity of a conductor is called its conductivity (s). the electric field that drives it. The S.I. Combining (1) and (2).7x10. If the current flowing through the full slab is I for a given voltage V. then the current flowing through each half -slab is I/2.8 Iron Metal 9. Therefore. suppose that the slab is cut lengthwise into two parallel slabs (fig.8 Nichrome Alloy 100x10. II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . Therefore.8 Pure Silicon Semiconductor 2. we get where r.sectional area. It depends only on the nature of the material and its physical conditions.slab is twice that of original full slab. (b)) each of area A/2. stays the same). is called resistivity. G = 1/R. the resistance of each half . the potential drop across the slab also doubles. Therefore.68x10. the resistance doubles on doubling the length.3 Consider a rectangular slab of some conducting material. (This is because the potential difference is the electric field times the distance. If the length is doubled (fig.5x 103 Pure Germanium Semiconductor 0. The unit of r is ohm m (Wm). Material Nature Resistivity at room temp in ohm-metre Copper Metal 1. Thus. (a)) for a fixed current I. That is Now. unit of conductance is mho or siemen (S).6 Glass Insulator 1010 to 1014 Mica Insulator 1011 to 1015 The reciprocal of resistance of a conductor is called its conductance (G).8 Manganin Alloy 48x10. of length l and cross-sectional area A. and for a fixed current. But these two slabs differ only in the cross .

BB Roy Great Britain Very Good Wife The first two colour bands (i.4 The S. unit of conductivity is siemen metre-1 (sm-1) or mho m-1 or (Wm)-1.e. Carbon resistors are marked with a set of co-axial coloured rings.. The commonly used resistors are the carbon resistors made from powdered carbon mixed with binding material and baked into a small tube with wire attached to each end. If it is absent. Semiconductors Semiconductors have resistivities intermediate between those of metals and insulators. The third colour band i. the tolerance is 20%. If this last band is gold.e. C indicates the decimal multiplier and the last band D stands for the tolerance in percent about the indicated value. the following sentence may be helpful. Colour Code for Resistors A resistor is a component in a circuit whose function is to provide a specified value of resistance. A and B) from the end indicate the first two significant figures of the resistance in ohms. These rings indicate the value of their resistance (the table gives the colour code) and the percentage accuracy. the value of the resistance will be II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . Equation Colour Numbe r (Black) B (Brown) B (Red) R (Orange)O (Yellow) Y (Green) G (Blue) B (Violet) V (Grey) G (White) W 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 In order to remember the colour code.I. Insulators such as ceramic and plastic materials are also poor conductors of heat. They are important because of the way they are affected by temperature and small amount of impurities.. An example is shown in the figure below. Example: If ABCD represent colours yellow. violet. brown and gold respectively. the tolerance is 5%. In metals. Good electrical conductors such as metals are usually good conductors of heat also. if silver it is 10%. These have resistance values from a fraction of an ohm to several million ohms. the free electrons that carry charge in electrical conduction also provide the principal mechanism for heat conduction.

5 Origin of Resistivity In electrostatic situations. the direction of the electrons undergoes a random change. See figure below. It is of the order of 10 -14 s. the relaxation time. But. Since the motion of the electrons is random. the electric field is zero everywhere within the conductor. In metals such as copper or aluminium. there is no net flow in any direction and hence the current is zero. II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . These free electrons move randomly in all directions with a speed of the order of 10 6 ms-1. the electrons do not escape from the material as they are attracted to the positive ions of the material. This drift or flow with a constant velocity (in a direction opposite to ) is called the drift velocity VD. To find the relationship between current and drift velocity. If V is the potential difference across the ends of the conductor. the net effect is that in addition to the random motion of the electrons. some of the electrons are free to move within the conducting material. is the average time that an electron spends between two collisions. the steady force would cause a steady If the electrons acceleration in the direction of an the electrons speed would have gone up. and there is no current. This does not mean that all charges within the conductor are at rest. then the strength of the electric field is The acceleration acquired by each electron due to the electric field is where is the coulomb's force experienced by each electron and m is the mass of the electron. the electrons undergo frequent collisions with the ions of the material. The drift velocity of the electrons is given by where t. Hence. consider a conductor of length l and area of cross-section A. the electrons are subjected to a steady force given by were moving in vacuum. When the same metal is in an electric field. there is also a very slow net motion or drift of the electrons. But in a conductor.

Hence. the relaxation time r for a metal can be estimated. or From this. the total number of free electrons in the conductor will be equal to n Al. For copper at room temperature.7 x 102 mW m.n Ale The time taken by free electrons to cross the conductor is where we have substituted for t and q.  : relaxation time From this. then. R : resistance of the conductor. I a Vd A small value of drift velocity 10-5m/sec produces a large amount of current. l : length of the conductor. which agrees with values obtained by other methods.neAVd On substituting for Vd in the above expression we get. the resistance R can be identified as where. A : area of cross-section. m : mass of the electrons.6 Now the volume of the conductor is equal to Al and if n is the number of free electrons per unit volume. n : density of free electrons in the conductor. e : electronic charge. as there are a large number of free electrons in a conductor.5 x 10 22m-3 (using the density of copper). we get t = 2 x 10-7 s. Substituting these. II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . r = 1. For a given conductor. along with the known values of m and e. the total charge q = . The drift velocity of the electrons Vd is (using E = V / l) Also I = . using the observed values of r. The number density of electrons is ~ 8.

.I unit of mobility is m2 / Vs. mh are electron and hole mobilities and n. the resistivity of a metal can be represented by a linear relation where o is the resistivity at a reference temperature T o and (T) is the resistivity at temperature T. making it more likely that a moving electron will collide with an ion. II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . Temperature Dependence of Resistivity The resistivity of a metallic conductor nearly always increases with increasing temperature.7 Mobility In metals. The electrical conductivity of a superconductor can be expressed as  = neme + pemh Here. Over a small temperature range. As temperature increases. conduction is partly duer to electrons and partly due to holes which are sites of missing electrons. The S. in an ionized gas. The mobility m is defined as the magnitude of the drift velocity per unit electric field.  is called the temperature coefficient of resistivity and has dimensions of (oC)-1. This impedes the drift of electrons and hence the current. they are electrons and positive ions. i. Mobility is positive for both electrons and holes. the ions of the conductor vibrate with greater amplitude.p are electron and hole concentrations.e. the mobile charge carriers are the electrons. me. the temperature dependence of  at low temperatures is non-linear as shown in figure given below. In a semiconductor such as Ge or Si. in electrolytes. However. Holes act as positive charges. these are both positive and negative ions.

8 Fig (a) .Resistivity of nichrome as a function of absolute temperature T Alloys have a residual resistivity even at absolute zero. but a pure metal has a vanishingly small resistivity. the resistivity is very large. II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . Fig(b) .Resistivity  T of copper as a function of temperature T In metallic alloys. The resistivity of a semiconductor decreases rapidly with increasing temperature as shown in fig (c). as seen in below figure. but has a weak temperature dependence. This can be used to check the purity of metals.

The relation between V and I is non-unique. There are a number of commonly used circuit elements which do not obey this law. the atoms/ions vibrate with increasing amplitude. the number of free electrons. V depends on I non-linearly. but the number of free charge carriers increases with temperature. From this.Temperature dependence of resistivity for a typical semiconductor This means that  is negative. the number of carriers is given by n(T) = n0 exp (–Eg/kB T) where Eg is the energy gap between the conduction and valence bonds. They have one or more of the following properties: 1. 2. Eg >> 1 eV. the collisions of electrons with them become more frequent. In insulators. Eg ~ 1 eV. for the same current I. The resistivity of an insulator too decreases exponentially with increase in temperature. we can get the temperature dependence of  to be (t) = 0 exp (Eg/kB T) In semiconductors. 3. At any temperature T. II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . this last equation shows that for semiconductors and insulators. Also. as temperature increases. t remains almost constant. Therefore. The relationship between V and I depends on the sign of V for the same absolute value of V. n does not change with temperature. In metals. \  is very high. resistivity increases with decreasing temperature. Since m and e are constants.9 Fig (c) . that is. In both insulators and semiconducotors. resulting in a decrease in t. \  is not very high. These observations may be understood qualitatively using the equation for . This means an increase in  with increase in temperature. Limitations of Ohm's Law Ohm's law is not a fundamental law of nature. there is more than one value of voltage V. But.

We find that V is not directly proportional to I. All the properties 1 to 3 are seen and the region (PQ) is still more interesting. and is then called a rectifier. Here the current carried by the device increases as the voltage decreases. which leads to interference effects. which consists of four alternate layers of P and n-type semiconductors. This increases the resistance beyond what would be if electrons flowed like water. This can be understood in terms of the wave character of electrons.10 The graph shows the (V-I) graph of a vacuum diode. but a potential difference of the other sign will cause little or no current. For a diode of either type. Other examples of non-ohmic devices are electrolytes. It exhibits properties 1 and 2 that are listed above. thermistors. The behavior of semiconductor diodes is somewhat different but still strongly asymmetric. A more fundamental breakdown of Ohm's Law occurs in certain alloys at very low temperatures ( <4K) It is observed that the resistance of a uniform wire made of the alloy of length 2l is more than twice the resistance of the wire of length l. a diode acts like a one-way valve in a circuit. Hence. A vacuum tube is used to convert high voltage alternating current to direct current. The graph shows the characteristics of a device known as a thyristor. a positive potential difference V will cause a current to flow in the positive direction. II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S .

in a magnetic field. exhibit a phenomenon called superconductivity.11 Variations of current versus voltage for GaAs Strong non-linearity occurs in a material of GaAs. As the temperature decreases. Here. And electric current established in a super conducting ring continues indefinitely without the presence of any driving field. Superconductivity was discovered in 1911 by the Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingle Onnes. Meissner and Ochsenfeld found that if a superconducting material is cooled to below its transition temperature. the effective resistance is negative. B is zero. the current decreases as voltage increases. That is. then the lines of induction B are pushed out. This is shown in the figure below. including several metals and alloys. after a certain voltage. Meissner effect in a superconductor The Meissner effect shows that a bulk superconductor behaves as if inside it. High Tc Superconductivity II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . But then at a certain critical temperature T C. a phase transition occurs and the resistivity drops suddenly to zero. Meissner Effect In 1933. Superconductors display the Meissner effect which is discussed below. the resistivity at first decreases smoothly like that of any metal. Superconductivity Some materials.

The resistors are said to be connected in parallel if the potential difference is the same across each resistor. can be connected in such a way that the same current flows in them. superconducting magnets made with these high T c materials are being used. In MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) instruments. Resistances in Series If the resistances are connected end-to-end. For example. levitated vehicles and long distance power transmission. then they are said to be connected in series. The resistance of this single resistor is called the equivalent resistance of the combination. For any combination of resistors in a circuit.12 This table shows that some materials. chosen light bulb that can draw the same current and have the same potential difference between its terminals as the original string of bulbs. Earlier. liquid helium was required which was much more expensive. a string of light bulbs can be replaced by a single. mainly oxides. The 125K bulk super conducting oxide was discovered in 1988. High T csuperconductors have promising commercial applications in thin film devices. Then II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . have a fairly high critical temperature T c. the same current flows through each resistance. we can always find a single resistor that can replace the combination and result in the same total current and potential difference. These can be cooled with liquid nitrogen. Resistors in Series and in Parallel When resistors. as there is no alternative path.

the expression for the equivalent resistance takes on a particularly simple form.13 where I is the current. II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S .e. i. I = I 1 + I2 + I3 Since charge is not accumulated at a point. the potential difference across each is the same. V = V1+V2+V3 IRS = I1R1 + IR2 + IR3 Therefore.. V is the potential difference of the battery and R S is the equivalent resistance of the combination. Then. Therefore. Now. where Rp is the equivalent resistance of the combination. For the special case of only two resistors in parallel. Resistance in Parallel RS = R1+ R2 + R3 If the resistance are in parallel. but the current is not.

II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . the nature of the electrodes and the area of the plates. Internal Resistance When current is drawn from a cell. the nature of the electrolytes. But. and special methods are required.The internal resistance of a cell depends on the distance between the plates. Electric Circuits and Kirchhoff's Rules In many electrical circuits.14 Next. measure the internal resistance of the cell. This is then in series with R1. the concentration of electrolytes. Gustav Robert Kirchhoff developed two laws based on charge neutrality in a metal.parallel combinations. the combination of R2 and R3 in series forms a simple parallel combination with R1.parallel combinations. not all networks can be reduced to simple series . To solve such complex circuits. Ohm's law cannot be applied. The first network can be simplified by replacing the parallel combination of R 2 and R3 with its equivalent resistance. This happens when there is more than one source of emf in the circuit or when resistors are connected in a complicated manner. consider the following two networks where the resistances are connected in series . It is usual practice to represent internal resistance of a cell like a series resistor. we first discuss the internal resistance of electrical circuits and then go on to Kirchhoff's rules. Here. ions move within the cell from one electrode to another. The resistance offered by the electrodes and electrolytes to these. external to the cell as shown. In the second network.

open circuit) emf. But. Let e. When K is opened (i.e.the external resistance. the voltmeter reads the emf (e) of the cell as no current flows through the circuit. we have 'Ir' is the potential difference across the internal resistance r.. a current 'I' flows in the circuit. r be the emf and internal resistance of a cell and R . closed circuit). When K is closed (i. V = IR Therefore. and this determines the current in the circuit for a given source of emf. the external voltage V is less than the emf of the cell. A high resistance voltmeter V is connected as shown. II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . Also. e.e. It is as though an internal resistance r is in series with the external resistance R.. Hence.15 Consider the circuit below.

16 Kirchhoff's Rules Consider the following two circuits. Therefore. acdefa. So.junction and loop. Neither can be solved by series-parallel combinations. Some possible loops are acdba. d are junctions but not e. German physicist Gustow Robert Kirchoff developed a technique. Here we cannot identify the resistances in series or in parallel. He introduced two terms. The above circuit shows a DC power supply with EMF E1 charging a battery with a smaller EMF E 2 and feeding current to a light bulb with resistance R. In the above circuits a. Many practical resistor networks cannot be reduced to simple.I 5 = 0 II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . One is 'junction' and the other is 'loop'. b. abdefa and abcdefa. I1 + I 4 = I 2 + I 3 + I 5 Hence. I1 + I 4 .I 2 . f.I 3 . Kirchhoff's Junction Rule The algebraic sum of the currents at a junction in a closed circuit is zero. series-parallel combinations. we need to introduce two terms . c. Before going on to Kirchoff's rules.

one can continuously gain energy by circulating charge in a particular direction. Sign Convention in Applying Kirchhoff's Rules The emf of a cell is positive when one moves in the direction of increasing potential (i. i. in the same direction of the assumed current.  Choose any closed loop and find the algebraic sum of voltage drops plus the algebraic sum of the emfs in that closed loop and equate it to zero. in any arm of the circuit is taken negative if one moves in a closed path..e.17 I = 0 or (Sum of currents entering a junction = Sum of currents leaving the junction) This rule is based on the fact that charge cannot be accumulated at any point in a conductor in a steady situation. Otherwise.e.e. This rule is based on energy conservation.. Steps to solve circuits by Kirchhoff's laws:  Assume unknown currents in a given circuit and show their directions by arrows. Kirchhoff's Loop Rule The algebraic sum of the potential differences in any loop including those associated with emfs and those of resistive elements must be equal to zero.. the net change in the energy of a charge after completing the closed path is zero. II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . negative pole to positive pole) through the cell and is negative when one moves from positive to negative. i. the IR term. The product of resistance and current. and positive if in the opposite direction.

The remaining current I – Ig = Is should flow through the shunt. The value of S is chosen by the maximum current I that we want to measure. Measurement of Voltages. Solve the equations to find the unknown quantities. Ammeter An ammeter is connected in series with the circuit element whose current is to be measured. only a current Ig should be through the galvanometer..e. it extends the range of current (from G to RA) of the ammeter. This means that though the circuit current is I. To measure larger currents. shunted galvanometer) is RA < S So.  If the value of assumed current is negative. it means that the actual direction of the current is opposite to that of the assumed direction. so that there is only a negligible change in the circuit resistance and hence circuit current. II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . Equating potential differences across the shunt and galvanometer. Let the galvanometer resistance be G and the current for full-scale deflection be I g. we get (I – Ig) S = Ig G The resistance of the ammeter (i. The basic component of both is the moving coil galvanometer which produces a deflection proportional to the electric current through it. a suitable low resistance S (called shunt) is connected in parallel with the galvanometer.18  Write equations for as many closed loops as the number of unknown quantities. Currents and Resistances These devices measure the voltage and current respectively in a circuit. the shunt not only extends the range of current (from Ig to I).

The value of R is chosen according to the maximum voltage V that we want to measure. Wheatstone Bridge This is used to measure an unknown resistance accurately. But the galvanometer by itself can only handle a voltage of IgG. Therefore. multiplier increases the resistance of the voltmeter. The remaining potential difference (V . II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . extends the voltage range (from I gG to V). and hence circuit current. a suitable high resistance R (called multiplier) is connected in series.e. It should have a very high resistance as not to alter the circuit resistance.IgG) should be across the multiplier R. and of course. a galvanometer in series with a high resistance) is RV = G + R Since R is high. we get V = Ig G + Ig R The resistance of the voltmeter (i.19 Voltmeter A voltmeter is connected in parallel with the circuit element across which potential difference is to be measured. equating voltage drops.. The current through it is Ig. For larger potential differences. It consists of 4 resistors (2 fixed known resistances P and Q. The galvanometer can measure voltages upto I GG. a known variable resistance R and the unknown resistance X) connected as shown in the figure.

20 Wheatstone's network A source of emf is connected across one pair of opposite junctions (A and C)..e. the products of the resistances in the opposite arms are equal..e. We will show this using Kirchoff's rules. we have – (I1–Ig)Q +(I – I1+ Ig)X + IgRg = 0 ..(2) (where Rg is the resistance of the galvanometer) In the balanced condition. The value of R is varied till the galvanometer shows no deflection. we have –I1P + (I – I1)R = 0 …(1) and – (I1)Q + (I – I1)X = 0 …(2) Simplifying the two equations. Applying the Kirchhoff's law to loop 1. The wheatstone bridge principle states that under balanced conditions.(1) Similarly for loop 2. i. Then. putting Ig = 0. and a galvanometer G across the other opposite pair (B and D). we have – I1P – IgRg + (I – I1)R = 0 . we get I1P = (I – I1)R …(1) II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S .. The key K1 is closed first and then K2... the bridge is said to be balanced. Ig = 0. i.

The wire used is of uniform material and cross-section. The galvanometer is connected with the help of jockey across BD and the cells is connected across AC. in one of them a known resistance whose value is to be determined is connected. the jockey is moved along the wire and the null point is obtained. and resistor P and R are called the ratio arms. Metre Bridge This is the simplest form of wheatstone bridge and is specially useful for comparing resistances more accurately. The construction of the metre bridge is as shown in the below figure. After making connections. It consists of one metre resistance wire clamped between two metallic strips bent at right angles and it has two points for connection. There are two gaps. The segment of length l 1 and (100 – l1) form two resistances of the wheatstone bridge. The resistance can be found with the help of the following relation II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . we get Resistor Q is called the standard arm of the bridge. the other two reistances being R and S.21 I1Q = (I – I1)X …(2) Dividing the above two equations.

End Correction Sometimes at the end points of the wire. If the end resistance is small. say.e. some length is found under the metallic strips and as a result. in addition of length l1 or (100 – l1). Potentiometer This instrument is identical to the meter bridge except that in this case. This is due to end resistances. If an emf e1 is balanced against the length. Let  and  be the lengths on the respective end under the metallic strips. it has uniform resistance per unit length. say. some additional length should be added for accurate measurements. As the wire is of uniform material and cross section.22 where  is the resistance per unit length of the wire and l 1 is the length of the wire from one end where null point is obtained. This enables greater accuracy. . l1 we have Similarly. The resistance due to this additional length is called end resistance.. we have II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . we have Hence the values of . the resistance wire is of more than a meter length. if another emf e2 is balanced against the length. we have From equations (1) and (2). it can be determined by first introducing known resistances P and Q in the gap and obtaining the null point reading l 1. A standard cell of emf e1 maintains a constant current throughout the wire. then we have Solving the equations (1) and (2) for  and . l2. then interchanging P and Q and obtaining the null point reading l 2. depends upon the current in the wire. i.  can be calculated and suitably accounted for when accurate measurements are required. The bridge is most sensitive when null point is somewhere near the middle point of the wire. The potential gradient.

Then e2 = rl2 Different sets of observations are taken by varying the variable resistance R k and then mean value of ratio is computed. First the cell e1 is connected by connecting 1 and 3 points of key K 2 and by moving the jockey K on the potentiometer wire. Two cells e1 and e2 whose emf's are to be compared are put in such a way that positive terminals are connected to A and negative terminal to the galvanometer through a two-way plug key k. the cell of emf e2 is put into the circuit and again the no deflection point on the wire is obtained. then where  is the potential gradient and l1 is the length CN. II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S . Let this reading be l 2. After this. Let the reading be l1. by means of a battery B and rheostat R h. a steady current is passed through the potentiometer wire AC.e.. the points 2 and 3 of the key K 2 are connected i. the no deflection point is obtained.23 From the above figure.

24 II T -J E E | M E D IC A L | F O U N D A T I O N S .