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# SF017

## UNIT 5: Electric Current and

Direct-Current Circuit (D.C.)

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{

## Consider a simple closed circuit consists of wires, a battery and a lamp

as shown in figure 5.1a.

r
Fe

r
E

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Area, A

Fig. 5.1a
From the figure,
z
Direction of electric field or electric current : Positive to negative
terminal.
z
Direction of electron flows : Negative to positive terminal.
z
The electron accelerates because of the electric force acted on it.
Definition is defined as the total (net) charge, Q flowing through
the area per unit time, t.
Mathematically,
dQ
Q
Instantaneous
I=
or I =
current
dt
t
2

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{
{
{

## It is a basic and scalar quantity.

The S.I. unit of the electric current is the ampere (A
A).
Its dimension is given by

[I ] = A

## 1 ampere of current is defined to be one coulomb of charge passing

through the surface area in one second.

{

## Definition is defined as the current flowing through a conductor

per unit crosscross-sectional area.
Mathematically,
I where

J=

{
{
{

I : electric current
A A : cross - sectional area of the conductor

It is a vector quantity.
Its unit is amperes per square metre (A
A m-2)
The direction of current density, J always in the same direction of the
Area, A
current I. e.g.

r
J

r
J =0

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{

## Consider a segment of two different current-carrying material as shown

in figure 5.3a and 5.3b.

rL
vd A

L I

r
vd

r
vd

r
Er
J

r
E
r
J

## Fig. 5.3b : Metal

Fig. 5.3a : Semiconductor
Figure 5.3a shows the charges carrier is positive, the electric force is in
the same direction as E and the drift velocity vd is from left to right.
Figure 5.3b shows the charges carrier is negative (electron), the
electric force is opposite to E and the drift velocity vd is from right to
left.
Consider a situation of figure 5.3a, a semiconductor with crosssectional area A and length L.
z

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A vd

n=

N
V

and

V = AL

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## Then the number of charges, N along the conductor is given by

N = nAL

Therefore the total charge Q that passes through the area A along
the conductor is

Q = Ne
Q = (nAL )e

The time required for the charge moving along the conductor is

t=
z

L
vd

Q
then the drift velocity vd is given by
t
I
I
(nAL )e = nAev
vd =
and
=J
I=
d
nAe
A
L

or
Definition
vd

Since

I=

vd =

where

J
ne

Density of the
charge carrier

## n : number of charge per unit volume

e : magnitude of the positive charge (electron)
5

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## Consider a situation of figure 5.3b, when an electric field exits in the

wire, the electron feel a force and initially begin to accelerate. The
acceleration a due to electron is given by

Fe = eE
ma = eE
a=

eE
m

and

Fe = F = ma

where

## E : electric field strength

m : mass of the electron

## 5.4 Mechanism of Electrical Conduction

5.4.1 Electrical conduction in the metal
In metal the charge carrier is free electrons and a lot of free electrons
are available in it.
{
They move freely and randomly throughout the crystal lattice structure
of the metal but frequently interact with the lattices.
{
When the electric field is applied to the metal, the freely moving
electron experience an electric force and tend to drift towards a
direction opposite to the direction of the field.
{
Then an electric current is flowing in the opposite direction of the
electron flows.
{

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## 5.4.2 Electrical conduction in the semiconductor

{
In a pure semiconductor such as silicon, the charge carriers is free
electrons and free positive holes.
{
When an electron moves from the valence band into the conduction
band by increases the temperature of the semiconductor, it leaves
behind a vacant site called a hole.
hole
{
An electron from a neighbouring atom can move into this hole and
leaving the neighbour with the hole. In this way, the hole can travel
through the semiconductor as an additional charge carrier.
{
In a pure or intrinsic semiconductor, valence band holes and
conduction band electrons are always present in equal numbers.
{
When an electric field is applied, they move in opposite directions as
shown in figure 5.4a.

Ie

Conduction electron

Fig. 5.4a

hole

Energy gap

Ih
r
Applied E field

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Conduction band

Valence band
7

## Thus a hole in the valence band behaves like a positively charged

particle, even though the moving charges in that band are electrons.
The drifting of electrons produce a current Ie while the drifting of holes

## produce a current Ih. Therefore the net current I flowing in the

semiconductor is given by
I = I e + I h where I e > I h
{
When the temperature of a semiconductor increases, the number of
free electrons and holes increases. Hence the current flowing also
increase.
5.4.2 Electrical conduction in the superconductor
{
Superconductor is a class of metals and compound whose resistance
decreases to zero when they are below the critical temperature Tc.
{
Table below shows the critical temperature for various
superconductors.

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Material

Tc (K)

Pb

7.18

Hg

4.15

Sn

3.72

Al

1.19

Zn

0.88

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## The value of Tc is sensitive to chemical composition, pressure and

molecular structure.
The remarkable features of superconductors is that once a current is
set up in them, it persists without any applied potential difference
(because R=0).
Example 1 :
A current of 2.0 A flows through a copper wire. Calculate
a. the amount of charge, and
b. the number of electrons
flow through a cross-sectional area of the copper wire in 30 s.
(Given the charge of electron, e=1.60x10-19 C)
Solution: I=2.0 A, t=30 s
a. From the definition of electric current, thus the amount of charge is

Q
t

I=

Q = 60 C

Q = Ne

60
1.6 x10 19

N=
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## N = 3.75 x10 20 electron

9

Example 2 :
A silver wire 2.6 mm in diameter transfers a charge of 420 C in 80 min.
Silver contains 5.8 x 1028 free electrons per cubic metre. Determine
a. the current in the wire.
b. the magnitude of the drift velocity in the wire.
c. the current density in the wire
(Given the charge of electron, e=1.60x10-19 C)
Solution: d=2.6 x 10-3 m, t=80x60=4800 s , n=5.8 x1028 m-3, Q=420 C
a. From the definition of electric current, thus

I=

Q
t

I = 8.75 x10 2 A

## b. The magnitude of the drift velocity is

vd =
vd =

I
nAe

4I
nd 2 e

and

A=

d 2
4

vd = 1.78 x10 6 m s 1

## c. By applying the equation of the current density, thus

J=
SF027

4I
I
= 2
A d

J = 1.65 x10 4 A m 2
10

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Example 3 :
A high voltage transmission line with a diameter of 2.00 cm and a length
of 200 km carries a steady current of 1000 A. If the conductor is copper
wire with a free charge density of 8.49 x 1028 electrons m-3, find the time
taken by one electron to travel the full length of the line.
(Given the charge of electron, e=1.60x10-19 C)
(Serway & Jewett,pg.855,no.56)

Solution: d=2.00

L=200x103 m

## By using the equation of the drift velocity for electron,

vd =

I
d 2
and A =
nAe
4

4I
nd 2 e
vd = 2.34 x10 4 m s 1
vd =

Therefore the time taken for one electron travels through the line is

vd =

L
t

t = 8.55 x10 8 s

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## 5.5 Resistance and Resistivity

5.5.1 Resistance, R
{
Definition is defined as the ratio of the potential difference across
an electrical component to the current passing through
through
it.
Mathematically,
V where

R=

{
{

I : current

## It is thus a measure of the components opposition to the flow of the

electric charge.
It is a scalar quantity and its unit is ohm ( ) or V A-1
In general, the resistance of a metallic conductor increases with
temperature, whereas the resistance of a semiconductor decreases
with temperature.
Note that if the temperature of the metallic conductor is constant
hence its resistance also constant.
constant

5.5.2 Resistivity,
{
Definition is defined as the resistance of a unit crosscross-sectional
area per unit length of the material.
material
Mathematically,
RA where
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## l : length of the material

A : cross - sectional area

12

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{
{
{

## It is a scalar quantity and its unit is ohm metres ( m)

It is a measure of a materials ability to oppose the flow of an electric
current.
It also known as specific resistance.
resistance

## 5.6 Conductance and Conductivity

5.6.1 Conductance, G
{
Definition is defined as the reciprocal of electrical resistance in a
directdirect-current circuit.
Mathematically,
V
1
and R =
G=

or

G=
{

I
V

## It is a scalar quantity and its unit is per ohm (-1)

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13

5.6.2 Conductivity,
{
Definition is defined as the reciprocal of the resistivity of a
material.
Mathematically,
RA
1
and =
=

or

=
{
{

l
RA

## It is a scalar quantity and its unit is -1 m-1

Example 4 :
What diameter must an aluminium wire have if its resistance is to be
same as that of an equal length of copper wire with diameter 2.20 mm.
(Given (aluminium) is 2.75x10-8 m and (copper) is 1.72x10-8 m)
Solution: RCu=RAl, dCu=2.20x10-3 m , lCu=lAl
Rearrange the equation of resistivity, thus the resistance is given by

R=
SF027

l
A

14

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Since

## RAl = RCu then the diameter of the aluminium wire is

Al l Al Cu lCu
d 2
and A =
=
4
AAl
ACu
Al
Cu
=
2
2

d Al d Cu

4 4
d Cu = 2.78 mm

Example 5 :
When 115 V is applied across a wire that is 10 m long and has a
0.30 mm radius, the current density is 1.4 x 104 A m-2. Find the
resistivity of the wire. (Halliday,Resnick&walker,pg.631,no.23)
Solution: V=115

## From the equation of the resistance,

l
V
where I = JA and R =
I
A
l
V

= 8.2 x10 4 m
=
A JA
R=

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{

## States that the potential difference across a metallic conductor is

proportional to the current flowing through it if its temperature
temperature is
constant.
Mathematically,
V I where T = constant
where

V = IR R : resistance a conductor
Ohms law also can be stated in term of electric field E and current
density J.
z
Consider a uniform conductor of length l and cross-sectional area
A. A potential difference V maintained across the conductor sets
up an electric field E and this field produce a current I that is
Then

l
A
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Fig. 5.7a

r
E

I
16

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## If the field is assumed to be uniform, the potential difference V is

related to the field through the relationship below :

V = El

## From the Ohms law,

then

l
V = IR where I = JA and R =
A
l
El = JA
A
1
E = J and =

or

J = E
where

## E : magnitude of electric field

J : current density
: resistivity of the conductor
: conductivity of the conductor

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## The potential difference V against current I graphs of various

material can be shown in figure 5.7b, 5.7c, 5.7d and 5.7e.

=R

0
V

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I0
V

I0

## Fig. 5.7c : Semiconductor

I
Fig. 5.7e : Electrolyte

18

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Example 6 :
A wire 4.00 m long and 6.00 mm in diameter has a resistance of 15 m.
A potential difference of 23.0 V is applied between the end. Determine
a. the current in the wire.
b. the current density.
c. the resistivity of the wire material.
(Halliday,Resnick&walker,pg.630,no.16)

Solution: d=6.00x10-3

V
R
I = 1.5 x10 3 A

I=

## b. By applying the equation of the current density, thus

J=

I
A

and

A=

d 2
4

4I
d 2
J = 5.3 x107 A m - 2
J=

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19

## c. By applying the equation of the resistivity , thus

RA
l

and

d 2
A=
4

Rd 2
=
4l
= 1.1x10 7 m
{

Example 7 : (exercise)
The rod in figure below is made of two materials. The figure is not
drawn to scale. Each conductor has a square cross section 3.00 mm on
a side. The first material has a resistivity of 4.00 103 m and is
25.0 cm long, while the second material has a resistivity of 6.00 103
m and is 40.0 cm long. Find the resistance between the ends of the
rod. (Serway & Jewett,pg.853,no.24)

Ans. : 378

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20

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Quantities.
{

## In the microscopic model to explain for electrical conduction in metals,

there are 4 assumption we need to considered.
z
Each metal atom contributes one free electron.
z
The free electron are in constant random motion, colliding with
each other and the metal ions in the crystal lattice.
z
The mean velocity of the free electrons is zero.
z
There is no net transfer of free electrons in any direction before a
potential difference is applied across the metal.
When the electric field E is applied to the metal, each electron
experiences a electric force F=eE. According to the Newtons second
law, F=mea, then the acceleration
of the electron is given
r

r eE
a=
me

## Consider for a free electron whose random velocity immediately after a

collision is v01, its final velocity just before the next collision v1 is given
by

v1 = v01 + at1

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21

Similarly for the other N free electrons in the metal, their respective
velocities just before the next collision are

## v2 = v02 + at 2 ,v3 = v03 + at3 ,..., v N = v0 N + at N

The drift velocity vd of the free electron is defined as the mean of
v1,v2,v3,,vN. Hence the drift velocity is given by
vd =< v1 , v2 , v3 ,..., v N >

## vd =< v0 i + ati > where i = 1,2,3,..., N

vd =< v0 i > + a < ti >

But < v0 i >= 0 because the mean of the random motion velocities
before applied the electric field is zero and the mean time interval
between successive collision is

< ti >=

vd = a
eE
vd =
me

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J = nevd

and

(Ohms law)
J = E (Ohm

22

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E = nevd
eE
E = ne

me

where

## ne 2 n : number of free electrons per unit volume

=
me e : charge of the electron
me : mass of the electron
{

Note:
From the formula of the conductivity in terms of microscopic
quantities, we get

## For metal such as copper, the number of free electron per m3

is 1029 and then metals are good conductors of electricity.

## For Materials such as silicon and carbon, the value of n is

small compared to metal, hence semiconductors are poor
conductors of electricity.
From that formula, conductivity do not depend on the strength
of electric field applied to the metal.
{

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{

## The resistivity of a conductors varies approximately linearly with

temperature according to the expression below

= 0 (1 + T )

## where : final resistivity

0 : initial resistivity
: temperature coefficient of resistivity (unit : K -1 )
T : temperature difference = (T-T0 )
Since R then the expression above can be written as

R = R0 (1 + T )

## where R : final resistance

R0 : initial resistance

5.9.1 Metal
{
When the temperature increases,
increases the number of free electrons per
unit volume in metal remains unchanged.
{
Metal atoms in the crystal lattice vibrate with greater amplitude and
cause the number of collisions between the free electrons and metal
atoms increase. Hence the resistance in the metal also increases.
increases
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24

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5.9.2 Semiconductor
{
When the temperature increases,
increases the semiconductor atoms acquire
the extra energy and cause the valence electron escapes from the
covalent bond.
{
Thus the number of free electrons per unit volume in the
semiconductor increases and cause its resistance decreases.
decreases
5.9.3 Superconductor
{
Superconductor is a class of metals that have zero resistance at lower
temperature (below critical temperature).
{
When the temperature of the metal decreases, its resistance
decreases to zero at critical temperature e.g. mercury acquire the
zero resistance at temperature of 4 K.
5.9.4 Resistance R against Temperature T graph for various materials.
a. Metal
b. Semiconductor

R0
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c. Superconductor

Tc

25
T

d. Carbon

Example 8 :
A certain resistor has a resistance of 1.48 at 20.0 C and a
resistance of 1.512 at 34.0 C . Find the temperature coefficient
of resistivity. (Young & Freedman,pg.974.no.25.26)
Solution: R0=1.48 , T0=20.0C , R=1.512 , T=34.0C
By applying the equation of resistance varies with temperature, thus

R = R0 (1 + T ) and T = T T0
R = R0 [1 + (T T0 )]

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= 1.54 x10 3 K 1 @ o C 1

26

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Example 9 :
A 5.00 m length of 2.0 mm diameter wire carries a 750 mA current when
22.0 mV is applied to its end. If the drift velocity of the electron has been
measured to be 1.7 x 10-5 m s-1, determine
a. the resistance of the wire.
b. the resisitivity of the wire.
c. the current density.
d. the electric field inside the wire.
e. the number of free electrons per volume.
f. the conductivity of the wire.
g. the mean time interval between successive collision of the electron.
(Given the charge of electron, e=1.60x10-19 C and me= 9.11 x10-31 kg)
Solution: l=5.00

m, d=2.0x10-3 m , I=750x10-3 A,
V = 22.0x10-3 V, vd=1.7 x 10-5 m s-1

V = IR
R = 2.9 x10 2

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RA
l

and

A=

d 2
4

27

Rd 2
=
4l
= 1.8 x10 8 m

## c. By applying the equation of the current density, thus

J=

I
A

and

A=

d 2
4

4I
d 2
J = 2.4 x10 5 A m - 2
J=

## d. From the relationship between E and V for uniform E, thus

E=

V
l

E = 4 .4 x10 3 V m 1
e. By applying the equation of drift velocity, then

J
ne
J
n=
vd e
n = 8 .8 x10 28 electrons m -3

vd =

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28

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## f. From the definition of the conductivity, thus

= 5.6 x107 1 m -1
g. By applying the equation of conductivity in terms of microscopic
quantities,
ne 2

me

m
= e2
ne
= 2.3 x10 14 s
{

Example 10 : (exercise)
A 2.0 m length of wire is made by welding the end of a 120 cm long
silver wire to the end of an 80 cm long copper wire. Each piece of wire
is 0.60 mm in diameter. A potential difference of 5.0 V is maintained
between the ends of the 2.0 m composite wire. Determine
a. the current in the copper and silver wire.
b. the magnitude of the electric field in copper and silver wire.
c. the potential difference between the ends of the silver section of wire.
(Given (silver) is 1.47x10-8 m and (copper) is 1.72x10-8 m)
(Young & Freedman,pg.976.no.25.56)

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29

## 5.10 Energy and Electrical Power

5.10.1 Energy
{
Consider a circuit consisting of a battery that is connected by wires to
an electrical device (such as a lamp, motor or battery being charged)
as shown in figure 5.10a where the potential different across that
electrical device is VAB.
{
A current I flows from the terminal A

Electrical device

## to the terminal B, if it flows for time

t, the charge Q which it carries from
B to A is given by

Q = It

VAB

## Then the work done on this charge

Q from B to A is

WBA = QVAB

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= V It

BA
AB
Fig. 5.10a
{
This work represents electrical energy supplied to the electrical device.
{
If the electrical device is passive resistor (device which convert all
the electrical energy supplied into heat),
heat the heat H dissipated is
given by
V 2t
2
=
H
or
H = W = VIt
H = I Rt or

30

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## 5.10.2 Electrical Power, P

{
Definition is defined as the energy liberated per unit time in the
electrical device.
{

## The electrical power P supplied to the electrical device is given by

P=

W VIt
=
t
t

P = IV
{

When the electric current flows through wire or passive resistor, hence
the potential difference across it is

V = IR

## then the electrical power can be written as

P = I 2R

or

V2
P=
R

I : current
R : resistance of the resistor (wire)
V : potential difference (voltage)
It is scalar quantity and Its unit is watts (W).
where

{
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31

## 5.11 Electromotive Force (e.m.f.), Terminal

Potential Difference and Internal
Resistance

## 5.11.1 Electromotive Force (e.m.f.), and Terminal Potential Difference

{
Consider a circuit consisting of a battery (cell) that is connected by
wires to an external resistor R as shown in figure 5.11a.

Battery (cell)

## A current I flows from the terminal A

to the terminal B.
For the current to flow continuously
from terminal A to B, a source of
electromotive force (e.m.f.), is
required such as battery to
maintained the potential difference
between point A and point B.

Fig. 5.11a
Electromotive force (e.m.f.), is defined as the energy provided by
the source (battery/cell) to each unit charge that flows from the
the
source.

{
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## Terminal potential difference (voltage), VAB is defined as the work

done in bringing a unit (test) charge from point B to point A.
32

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The unit for both e.m.f. and potential difference is volt (V).

When the current I flows naturally from the battery there is an internal
drop in potential difference (voltage) equal to Ir. Thus the terminal
potential difference (voltage), VAB is given by

VAB = Ir

## In general, the equation above can be written as

Vt = Ir
and Vt = IR
then

(5.11)

= I (R + r )

: e.m.f.
Vt : terminal potential difference (voltage)
Ir : Internal drop in potential difference @ Vr
R : total external resistance
r : Internal resistance of a cell (battery)

where

Note :
Equation (5.11) is valid if the battery (cell) supplied the current to
the circuit where

Vt <

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33

battery Vt
becomes

>

Vt = + Ir

## For the battery without internal resistance or if no current

flows in the circuit (open circuit),
circuit) then equation (5.11) can be
written as

Vt =

## 5.11.2 Internal Resistance of a cell (battery), r

{
Definition is defined as the resistance of the chemicals inside the
cell (battery) between the poles and is given by

where
{
{

Vr
when the cell (battery) is used.
I
Vr : potential difference across internal resistance
I : current in the circuit

## The value of internal resistance depends on the type of chemical

material in the cell (battery).
The symbol of e.m.f. and internal resistance in the circuit can be shown
in figure 5.11b.

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Fig. 5.11b

or

34

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Example 11 :
A battery of internal resistance 0.3 is connected across a 5.0
resistor. The terminal potential difference measured by the voltmeter is
2.15 V. Calculate the e.m.f. of the battery.
Solution: r=0.3

, R=5.0 , Vt=2.15 V

## The current flows in the circuit is given by

Vt = IR
I=

Vt
R

I = 0.43 A
By applying the equation of terminal potential difference, thus the e.m.f.
is given by
V = Ir
t

= 2.28 V
{

Example 12 :
When a 10 resistor is connected across the terminals of a cell of

## e.m.f. and internal resistance r a current of 0.10 A flows through the

resistor. If the 10 resistor is replaced with a 3.0 resistor the current
increases to 0.24 A. Find and r.

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35

Solution:
Initially:

R = 10.0
By applying the equation of e.m.f.,

= I (R + r )

I = 0.10 A

Finally :

= 0.10(10.0 + r )

(1)

R = 3.0
By applying the equation of e.m.f.,

= 0.24(3.0 + r )

I = 0.24 A

(2)

## By equating eq. (1) and (2) then

r = 2.0
Substituting for r in either eq. (1) or (2)

= 1.2 V

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36

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Example 13 :
For the circuit shown below, given = 12 V, r = 2.0 and R = 4.0 .

R
A

r
V

## Calculate the ammeter and voltmeter reading.

Solution:
By applying the equation of e.m.f., the current flows in the circuit is

= I (R + r )

I=

(R + r )

I = 2.0 A

## Therefore the ammeter reading is 2.0 A.

The voltmeter reading is given by

Vt = IR

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Vt = 8.0 V

37

## 5.12 Combinations of Cells

5.12.1 Cells in Series
{
Consider two cells connected in series as shown in figure 5.12a.

r1

r2

Fig. 5.12a
The total e.m.f., and the total internal resistance, r are given by

Note:

= 1 + 2

and

r = r1 + r2

## If one cell, e.m.f. 2 say, is turned round in opposition to the

others, then = 1 2 but the total internal resistance remains
unaltered.
5.12.2 Cells in Parallel
{
Consider two equal cells connected in parallel as shown in figure
5.12b.
{
The total e.m.f., and the
r1
z

1
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Fig. 5.12b

## total internal resistance, r are

given by

r1

= 1

and

1 1 1
= +
r r1 38 r1

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Note:
If different cells are connected in parallel, there is no simple formula
for the total e.m.f. and the total internal resistance where Kirchhoffs
laws have to be used.

{

## The symbol of resistor in electrical circuit can be shown in figure 5.13a.

or

Fig. 5.13a
5.13.1 Resistors in Series
{
Consider three resistors are connected in series to the battery as shown
in figure 5.13b.

R1

R2

R3

V1

V2

V3

V
Fig. 5.13b
SF027

39

z

## The same current I flows through each resistor where

I = I1 = I 2 = I 3
z

## Assuming that the connecting wires have no resistance, the total

potential difference, V is given by

V = V1 + V2 + V3
z

(5.13a)

## V1 = IR1 ; V2 = IR2 ;V3 = IR3 ; V = IReq

Substituting for V1, V2 , V3 and V in eq. (5.13a) gives

## IReq = IR1 + IR2 + IR3

Req = R1 + R2 + R3

where

SF027

40

SF017

## 5.13.2 Resistors in Parallel

{
Consider three resistors are connected in parallel to the battery as
shown in figure 5.13c and 5.13d.

I3

R3

I2

V3
R2

I1
I

I3

I1

V1

V2
R1
V1

I2
R2

R1 V2

R3

V3

Fig. 5.13d

Fig. 5.13c
The properties of resistors in parallel are given below.
z

where

V = V1 = V2 = V3

SF027

41

## Charge is conserved, therefore the total current I in the circuit is

given by
(5.13b)
I = I1 + I 2 + I 3
From the definition of resistance,

V
V
V
V
; I2 =
; I3 = ; I =
R1
R3
Req
R2
Substituting for I1, I2 , I3 and I in eq. (5.13b) gives
I1 =

V
V V V
=
+
+
Req R1 R2 R3
1
1
1
1
=
+
+
Req R1 R2 R3
{

Example 14 :
For the circuit shown below,

2. 0

12
4.0

6.0 V
SF027

42

SF017

Calculate :
a. the total resistance of the circuit.
b. the total current in the circuit.
c. the potential difference across 4.0 resistor.
Solution: R1=2.0

1
1
1
=
+
R23 R2 R3

R23 = 3.0

## R1 connected in series with combination of resistors, R23, therefore

the total resistance Rtotal in the circuit is given by

Rtotal = R1 + R23

Rtotal = 5.0
b. The total current I is given by

V
Rtotal
I = 1.2 A

I=

SF027

43

V1 = IR1
V1 = 2.4 V

## Therefore the potential difference across R3=4.0 is given by

V3 = V V1
V3 = 3.6 V
Example 15 :
For the circuits shown below, calculate the equivalent resistance
between points x and y.
a.
b. (exercise)

x
1.0

2.0

1.0
3.0

8.0

16.0
2.0

16.0
9.0
18.0

SF027

20.0

Ans. : 8.0

6.0
44

SF017

R2 = 2.0

Solution:
a.

R3 = 1.0

R5 = 1.0

R1 = 2.0

R4 = 3.0

Rx = R1 + R2
Rx = 4.0

x
R3 = 1.0

R5 = 1.0

Rx = 4.0

R4 = 3.0

y
SF027

45

1
1
1
=
+
R y Rx R3
R y = 0.8

R y = 0.8

R5 = 1.0

R4 = 3.0

Rz = R y + R4
Rz = 3.8
x

R5 = 1.0
SF027

Rz = 3.8
46

SF017

## Rz connected in parallel with R5, thus the equivalent resistance is

given by

1
1
1
=
+
Req Rz R5

Req = 0.79
{

Example 16 : (exercise)
a. Find the equivalent resistance between points a and b in figure
below.
b. A potential difference of 34.0 V is applied between points a and b.
Calculate the current in each resistor. (Serway & Jewett,pg.885,no.6)

Ans. :17.1 , 1.99 A for 4.00 and 9.00 , 1.17 A for 7.00 ,
0.818 A for 10.0

SF027

47

{
{
{

## The laws are useful in solving complex circuit problems.

This laws consist of two statements.
Kirchhoff
Kirchhoffs first law (junction/current law)
z
states the algebraic sum of the currents entering any
junctions in a circuit must equal the algebraic sum of the
currents leaving that junction.
or
I = I

For example :

I1 + I 2 = I 3

in

I1

out

I3

I2
{

I3

I4
b
I5

I3 = I4 + I5

Kirchhoff
Kirchhoffs second law (loop/voltage law)
z
states in any closed loop, the algebraic sum of e.m.f.s is equal
to the algebraic sum of the products of current and resistance.
or In any closed loop,

= IR
SF027

48

SF017

Note :
a. For e.m.f :
Travel

Travel

- +

+ -

Travel

Travel

+ IR

IR

## c. Problem solving strategy (Kirchhoff

(Kirchhoffs Laws):
Choose and labeling the current at each junction in the circuit
given.
z
Choose any one junction in the circuit and apply the Kirchhoffs
first law.
z
Choose any two closed loops in the circuit and designate a
direction (clockwise
clockwise or anticlockwise)
anticlockwise to travel around the loop in
applying the Kirchhoffs second law.
z
Solving the simultaneous equation to determine the unknown
49
currents and unknown variables.
z

SF027

## For example : Consider a circuit shown in figure 5.14a.

E
I1
D
I3

I1

I2

2 L1
R2

L3

I1 F
I1
I2

L2
3

R3
C

R1

A
I3

I3 B

I3

Fig. 5.14a
At junction A or D (applying the Kirchhoffs first law) :

in

= I out

I1 = I 2 + I 3

SF027

(1)
For the closed loop (either clockwise or anticlockwise), apply the
Kirchhoffs second law.
50

SF017

## From closed loop L1 FEDAF

I1

E
I1

R1

I1 F
I1

L1

I2

R2

I2

= IR

1 + 2 = I 2 R2 + I 1 R1
{

## From closed loop L2 ABCDA

= IR

R2

R3

L2
3

I3

2 3 = I 2 R2 I 3 R3

(3)

SF027

I2

(2)

I2

A
I3

I 351 B

I3

## From closed loop L3 FECBF

I1

R1

I1 F
I1

I1

L3
I3
R3
C

I3

I3

= IR

I3 B

1 + 3 = I 3 R3 + I 1 R1
{

SF027

(4)

By solving equation (1) and any two equations from the closed
loop, hence each current in the circuit can be determined.
52

SF017

Example 17 :
For the circuits shown below.

## a. Calculate the currents I.

12 V ,2

4 V ,4
b. Calculate the currents I1,I2 and I3. Neglect the internal resistance in
R1 = 1
each battery.
I1

1 = 15 V
R2 = 0.5

I2

2 = 10 V
R3 = 0.1

SF027

3 = 3.0 V
53

I3

12 V ,2

Solution: I
a.

I
b.

I1

L1

4 V ,4

L2

I1
2

## From closed loop L :

Applying KIrchhoffs 2nd law :

12 4 = 3 I + 4 I + 7 I + 2 I
I = 0.5 A
I

I1

= 10 VR = 0.5
2
I2

= IR

## By applying Kirchhoffs 1st law :

= 15 V R = 1
I1 1
1

I2

I3

in

= I out

I1 = I 2 + I 3

(1)
2nd

By applying Kirchhoffs
law :
From closed loop L1 :

= IR

I 3 1 + 2 = I 2 R2 + I 1 R1
25 = I 1 + 0.5 I 2
3 = 3.0 V

(2)

R3 = 0.1
SF027

I3

I3

54

SF017

## From closed loop L2 :

2 3 = I 2 R2 I 3 R3

7 = 0.5 I 2 0.1I 3

(3)

## I 1 = 17.69 A ; I 2 = 14.62 A ; I 3 = 3.07 A

Example 18 : (exercise)
For the circuit shown below.

I1

Given 1=8V,

R1

I2

## internal resistance in each battery.

Calculate
a. the currents I1 and I2.
b. the e.m.f. 2.
Ans. : 1 A, 4 A , 17 V

R2

R3

I
{

R2=2 , R3=3 ,
R1 =1 and I=3 A. Ignore the

Note :
From the calculation, sometimes we get negative value of current.
This negative sign indicates that the direction of the actual current is
opposite to the direction of the current drawn.

SF027

55

## 5.15 Electrical Instruments

5.15.1 Potential (voltage) Divider
{
A potential divider produces an output voltage that is a fraction of the
supply voltage V. This is done by connecting two resistors in series as
shown in figure 5.15a.
{
Since the current flowing through
V
each resistor is the same, thus

V
and Req = R1 + R2
Req
V
I=
R1 + R2
I=

R1

R2

V1

V2

Fig. 5.15a
Therefore, the potential difference (voltage) across R1 is given by

V1 = IR1
{

SF027

Similarly,

R1
V
V1 =
+
R
R
2
1

R2
V
V2 =
+
R
R
2
1

56

SF017

## Resistance R1 and R2 can be replaced by a uniform homogeneous wire

as shown in figure 15.5b.

I
a

l1

l2

b{

V2

V1

## Since the current flowing through

the wire is the same, thus

V
Rab

I=

(l1 + l2 )
A

Therefore, the potential difference (voltage) across the wire with length
l1 is given by

l1
V
V1 = 1 V
V1 =

l1 + l2
(l1 + l2 ) A
A
Important

V1 = IRac
{

l l

Rab = 1 + 2 = (l1 + l2 )
A
A
A
I=

Fig. 5.15b
{

## The total resistance, Rab in the wire

is
l
Rab = Rac + Rcb and R =

Similarly,

## From Ohms law :

l
V2 = 2 V
l1 + l2

SF027

l
V = IR = I
A57
V l

5.15.2 Potentiometer
{
Consider a potentiometer circuit is shown in figure 5.15c.
(Driver cell

V -accumulator)

I
A

G
+ Vx

I
Jockey

I
B{

## The potentiometer is balanced

when the jockey (sliding contact) is
at such a position on wire AB that
there is no current through the
galvanometer.
galvanometer Thus
Galvanometer reading = 0
When the potentiometer in
balanced, the unknown voltage
(potential difference being
measured) is equal to the voltage
across AC.

(Unknown Voltage)
Fig. 5.15c
{
Potentiometer can be used to
z
Compare the e.m.f.s of two cells.
z
Measure an unknown e.m.f. of a cell.
z
Measure the internal resistance of a cell.

SF027

Vx = VAC

58

SF017

## Compare the e.m.f.s of two cells.

In this case, a potentiometer is set up as illustrated in figure 5.15d,
in which AB is a wire of uniform resistance and J is a sliding contact
(jockey) onto the wire.
z
An accumulator X maintains a steady

l2
l1

I
A

z

## Initially, a switch S is connected to the

terminal (1) and the jockey moved

## until the e.m.f. 1 exactly balances

the potential difference (p.d.) from the
accumulator (galvanometer reading is
zero) at point C. Hence

(1)
S

where

(2)

then
z

Fig. 5.15d

(1)

## After that, the switch S is connected

to the terminal (2) and the jockey

where

then

I
2 = l2
A

l2
A

(2)

I
l
1 A 1
=
2 I
l2
A
{

I
1 = l1
A

## moved until the e.m.f. 2 balances the

p.d. from the accumulator at point D.
59
Hence

SF027

1 = VAC
l
VAC = IRAC and R AC = 1

1 l1
=
2 l2

## Measure an unknown e.m.f.

e.m.f. of a cell.
By using the same circuit shown in figure 5.15d, the value of
unknown e.m.f. can be determined if the cell 1 is replaced with
standard cell.
z
A standard cell is one which provides a constant and accurately
known e.m.f. Thus the e.m.f. 2 can be calculated by using
equation below.
z

SF027

l
2 = 2 1
l1

60

SF017

## Measure the internal resistance of a cell.

Consider a potentiometer circuit as shown in figure 5.15e.

l0

1 r

Iz

## a steady current I through the wire

AB.
Initially, a switch S is opened and the

then
z

Fig. 5.15e

where

I
B
z

I 1 1 r
I1
S

I1
z

SF027

I
1 = l0
A

(1)

## After the switch S is closed, the

Hence

1 = VAC
l
VAC = IRAC and R AC = 0

## current I1 flows through the

resistance box R and the jockey J
moved until the galvanometer reading
is zero (balanced condition) at point D
61
as shown in figure 5.15f.

SF027

## exactly balances the e.m.f. from

the accumulator (galvanometer
reading is zero) at point C. Hence
where

I1

I1
R

then

I
Vt = l
A

(2)

## From the equation of e.m.f.,

1 = Vt + I 1r
V
V
r = 1 t and I 1 = t
I1
R
1 Vt
R
r =
Vt

Fig. 5.15f
By substituting eq. (1) and (2) into eq. (3), we get

l l
r = 0 R
l
l

r = 0 1 R
l

l
A

(4)

62

(3)

SF017

## The value of internal resistance, r is determined by plotting the

graph of 1/l against 1/R .
{
Rearranging eq. (4) :

1 r1 1
= +
l l0 R l0

{

=M X + C

## Therefore the graph is straight line as shown in figure 5.15g.

1
l

1
l0
0
Fig. 5.15g

r
l0

1
R

SF027

63

Example 19:
Cells A and B and centre-zero galvanometer G are connected to a
uniform wire OS using jockeys X and Y as shown in figure below.

## The length of the uniform wire OS is

1.00 m and its resistance is 12 .
When OY is 75.0 cm, the
galvanometer does not show any
deflection when OX= 50.0 cm. If Y
touches the end S of the wire, OX =
62.5 cm when the galvanometer is
balanced. The e.m.f. of the cell B is
1.0 V. Calculate

## a. the potential difference across OY when OY = 75.0 cm.

b. the potential difference across OY when Y touches S and the
galvanometer is balanced.
c. the internal resistance of the cell A.
d. the e.m.f. of cell A.

SF027

64

SF017

## Solution: lOS=100 cm, ROS=12

A Ia
Ia
a.

Ia
O

, B=1.0 V.
lOY(1)=75.0 cm, lOX(1)=50.0 cm

lOY (1)

lOX (1)

Ia

G =0

ROX (1) =

lOX (1)

ROS
lOS
ROX (1) = 6.0
lOY (1)
ROS
and ROY (1) =
lOS
ROY (1) = 9.0

B = VOX (1)
B
Ia =

and

ROX (1)

1
Ia = A
6

VOY (1) = 1.5 V

SF027

65

Ib

b.

Ib
O

lOX (2 )
Ib

A Ib

lOY (2 )
Y

ROX ( 2 ) =

ROX ( 2 )
and

G =0

## When G = 0 (balance condition), thus

B = VOX ( 2 ) and VOX ( 2 ) =

Ib =

ROX ( 2 )

lOX ( 2 )

lOS
= 7.5

ROS

ROY ( 2 ) = ROS
ROY ( 2 ) = 12

I b ROX ( 2 )

I a = 0.13 A

## Therefore the potential difference across OY is given by

VOY ( 2 ) = I b ROY ( 2 )
VOY ( 2 ) = 1.6 V

SF027

66

SF017

## c. From the equation of e.m.f., the e.m.f. of cell A is given by

A = I (R + r )
A = I a ( ROY (1) + r )

## For case in question (b) :

A = (9.0 + r )
6
A = I b ( ROY ( 2 ) + r )
A = 0.13(12 + r )

(1)

(2)

By equating eq. (1) and eq. (2), hence the internal resistance of cell
1
A is

(9.0 + r ) = 0.13(12 + r )
r = 1.5

1
(9.0 + 1.5 )
6
A = 1.75 V

A =

SF027

67

## Example 20: (exercise)

In the potentiometer circuit shown below, PQ is a uniform wire of length
1.0 m and resistance 10.0 .
1 is an accumulator of e.m.f. 2.0 V
S1
and negligible internal resistance. R1
1
is a 15 resistor and R2 is a 5.0
R1
resistor when S1 and S2 open,
galvanometer G is balanced when
QT is 62.5 cm. When both S1 and S2
are closed, the balance length is
10.0 cm. Calculate
T
P a. the e.m.f. of cell 2.
b. the internal resistance of cell 2.
c. the balance length QT when S2
2
is opened and S1 closed.
G
d. the balance length QT when S1
is opened and S2 closed.

R2

S2

SF027

68

SF017

## 5.15.3 Wheatstone Bridge

{
It is used to measured the unknown resistance of the resistor.
{
Figure 5.15h shows the Wheatstone bridge circuit consists of a cell of
e.m.f. (accumulator), a galvanometer , know resistances (R1, R2 and
R3) and unknown resistance Rx.
{
The Wheatstone bridge is said to
be balanced when no current
flows through the galvanometer.
galvanometer
I
C I1
Hence I AC = I CB = I 1
I
R1
R2
and

I1

I2

G =0

R3

D I2

I AD = I DB = I 2

B{

RX

Then
Potential at C = Potential at D
Therefore
VAC = VAD and VBC = VBD

= IR thus
I 1 R1 = I 2 R3 and I 1 R2 = I 2 RX

Since V

Fig. 5.15h
{

Dividing gives

R
RX = 2 R3
R1

I 1 R1 I 2 R3
=
I 1 R2 I 2 RX

SF027

69

{
{

## The application of the Wheatstone bridge is Metre Bridge.

Bridge
Figure 5.15h shows the Metre bridge circuit.
(Unknown
(resistance box)
RX resistance) R
Thick copper
strip
I
I
1

0=

l1

I2

l2

Accumulator

Wire of uniform
resistance
{

Jockey

Fig. 5.15h

## The metre bridge is balanced when the jockey J is at such a position

on wire AB that there is no current through the galvanometer.
galvanometer Thus
the current I1 flows through the resistance RX and R but current I2
flows in the wire AB.

Let
z

SF027

## Vx : p.d. across Rx and V : p.d. across R,

At balance condition,

VX = VAJ

and

V = VJB

70

SF017

## By applying Ohms law, thus

I 1 RX = I 2 RAJ and I 1 R
Dividing gives

I 1 RX I 2 RAJ
=
I1R
I 2 RJB
l1

RX A
=
R l2

Example 21:

= I 2 RJB

where

RAJ =

l1
A

and

RJB =

l2
A

l
RX = 1 R
l2

## An unknown length of platinum wire 0.920 mm in diameter is placed as

the unknown resistance in a Wheatstone bridge as shown in figure
below.
Resistors R1 and R2 have resistance of
38.0 and 46.0 respectively. Balance
is achieved when the switch closed and
R3 is 3.48 . Find the length of the
platinum wire if its resistivity is
10.6 x 10-8 m. (Giancoli,pg.683.no.70)

SF027

71

m, R1=38.0 , R2=46.0 ,
R3=3.48 , =10.6x10-8 m

Solution: d=0.923x10-3

## At balance condition, the ammeter reading is zero thus the resistance of

the platinum wire is given by

R3 R1
=
RX R2
RX = 4.21

From the definition of resistivity, hence the length of the platinum wire is
2
RX A and A = d
=
4
l
2
d RX
l=
4
(0.923 x10 3 ) 2 (4.21)
l=
4(10.6 x10 8 )
l = 26.4 m

SF027

72

SF017

5.15.4 Ohmmeter
{
It is used to measure the unknown resistance of the resistor.
{
Figure 5.15I shows the internal connection of an Ohmmeter.
where

P
{
{
SF027{

## RM : meter (coil) resistance

Rs : variable resistance
RX : unknown resistance

RM

Rs

RX

Fig. 5.15I
When nothing is connected to terminals P and Q, so that the circuit is
open (that is, when R ), there is no current and no deflection.
When terminals P and Q are short circuited (that is when R = 0), the
ohmmeter deflects full-scale.
For any value of RX the meter deflection depends on the value of RX.73

5.15.5 Ammeter
{
It is used to measure a current flows in the circuit.
{
Ammeter is connected in series with other elements in the circuit
because the current to be measured must pass directly through the
ammeter.
ammeter
{
An ammeter should have low internal resistance (RM) so that the current in
the circuit would not affected.
{
The maximum reading from the ammeter is known as full scale deflection
(fs). If the full scale current passing through the ammeter then the p.d.
across that ammeter is given by

V fs = I fs RM

RM : meter(coil) resistance
I fs : full scale current
V fs : full scale potential difference (p.d.)

If the meter is used to measure currents that are larger than its full scale
deflection (I >Ifs), some modification has to be done.
z
A resistor has to be connected in parallel with the meter (coil)
resistance RM so that some of the current will bypasses the meter
(coil) resistance.
z

SF027

where

74

SF017

in parallel.

max

I fs

IS

RM

RS
Fig. 5.15J
z

## Since shunt is connected in parallel with the meter (coil) resistance

then
V =V
RM

RS

I fs RM = I S RS

and

I fs RM = (I I fs )RS

I S = I I fs

## Therefore the shunt resistance is given by

SF027

I fs
R
RS =
I I M
fs

75

5.15.6 Voltmeter
{
It is used to measure a potential difference (voltage) across electrical
elements in the circuit.
{
Voltmeter is connected in parallel with other elements in the circuit
therefore its resistance must be large than the resistance of the element so
that a very small amount of current only can flows through it. An ideal
voltmeter has infinite resistance so that no current exist in it.
{
To measure a potential difference that are larger than its full scale
deflection (V > Vfs), the voltmeter has to be modified.
z

SF027

## A resistor has to be connected in

series with the meter (coil)
0
resistance RM so that only a
fraction of the total p.d. appears
across the RM and the remainder
V
appears across the serial
I fs
resistor.
This serial resistor is called a
RB RM
multiplier or bobbin denoted as
RB.
Figure 5.15K shows the internal
V
I1
connection of a voltmeter with a I
Electrical
multiplier in series.
element
Fig. 5.15K

max

76

SF017

## Since multiplier is connected in series with the meter (coil) resistance

then the current through them are the same, Ifs.
The p.d. (voltage) across the electrical element is given by

V = VRB + VRM

## Hence the multiplier resistance is

V = I fs RB + I fs RM

V I fs RM
RB =

I fs

Note :
To convert a galvanometer to ammeter,
ammeter a shunt (parallel resistor) is
used.
z
To convert a galvanometer to voltmeter,
voltmeter a multiplier (serial resistor)
is used.

SF027

77

Example 21:
A milliammeter with a full scale deflection of 20 mA and an internal
(coil/metre) resistance of 40 is to be used as an ammeter with a full
scale deflection of 500 mA. Calculate the resistance of the shunt
required.
Solution: Ifs=20x10-3 A, RM=40 ,
By applying the equation of shunt, thus

I=500x10-3 A

I fs
R
RS =
I I M
fs

RS = 1.7

Example 22:
A galvanometer has an internal resistance of 30 and deflects full
scale for a 50 A current. Describe how to use this galvanometer to
make
a. an ammeter to read currents up to 30 A.
b. a voltmeter to give a full scale deflection of 1000 V.(Giancoli,pg.682.no.50)
Solution: Ifs=50x10-6 A, RM=30
a. We make an ammeter by putting a resistor in parallel (RS) with the
internal resistance, RM of the galvanometer as shown in figure below.

SF027

78

SF017

Given I

= 30 A.

I fs

RM

IS

G
RS

## Since RS connected in parallel with RM hence

VRM = VRS and I S = I I fs

I fs RM = (I I fs )RS
RS = 50 x10 6 in parallel.

RB

RM

I fs

Given V

= 1000 V

I fs

## Since RB connected in series with RM hence the current through them

are the same, Ifs.

SF027

Therefore

SF027

79

V = VRB + VRM
V = I fs RB + I fs RM
V I fs RM

RB =

I
fs

6
RB = 20 x10 in series.

## Example 23: (exercise)

A milliammeter of negligible resistance produces a full scale deflection
when the current is 1 mA. How would you convert the milliammeter to a
voltmeter with full scale deflection of 10 V?
Ans. :1.0 x 104 in series
Example 24: (exercise)
A moving-coil meter has a resistance of 5.0 and full scale deflection is
produced by a current of 1.0 mA. How can this meter be adapted for
use as :
a. a voltmeter reading up to 10 V,
b. a ammeter reading up to 2?
Ans. :9995 in series, 2.5 x10-3 in parallel.
80