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Demonstrate the operating principles of Wheatstone bridge circuit.

Wheatstone bridge is simply the arrangement for measurement of unknown resistance. The most accurate measurements of resistance are made with a galvanometer in a circuit called a Wheatstone bridge. The circuit consists of two fixed known resistances, a known variable resistance and an unknown resistance connected in a diamond pattern. A DC voltage is connected across two opposed points of the diamond, and a galvanometer is connected across the other two points. When all of the resistances abide a fixed relationship to each other, the currents flowing through the two arms of the circuit will be equal, and no current will flow through the galvanometer. By varying the value of one of the known resistances, the bridge can be made to balance for any value of unknown resistance, which can then be calculated from the values of the other resistors. Other electrical bridges use techniques similar to the Wheatstone bridge to determine the value of capacitors and inductors. Bridge circuits are often used with transducers, devices that convert one type of energy into another. The transducers used with bridge circuits convert types of energy such as heat, light, or sound into electrical energy. When the output of a transducer forms an element of a bridge circuit, changes in the level of the energy input to the transducer result in dramatic and easily detectable changes in the output of the bridge circuit.

2. To illustrate the different conditions arising from the resistance bridge circuit and its practical application. We define bridge circuit as a null method, which operates on the principle of comparison. That is a standard value is adjusted until it is equal to the unknown value. The Wheatstone bridge circuit, a special application of the bridge circuit, measures unknown resistance values. When the bridge circuit is balanced, the output terminals have zero potential difference between them. On the other hand, if the bridge circuit is unbalanced, there is a difference of potential between the output terminals. Various types of special series-parallel circuits, called bridge circuits, are used to make measurements in electronic circuits. In industry, there are numerous types of sensors and control circuits used to control the operation of

machinery and manufacturing systems such as the sensors detecting changes in temperature flow, pressure, or changes in electrical conditions are all quite common. The output of one of these sensors can be used as one leg of a bridge circuit zeroed at the desired reference level for temperature, pressure, flow and so on. Any change in the condition being sensed will then cause the bridge to become unbalanced. This differential at the output terminals of the bridge is then typically used as an input to circuits or devices that eventually translate the change into a readable indication such as digital readout, for monitoring purposes or a feedback control signal. This system condition change can be managed, either manually, or in many cases automatically, to bring the system back to the desired operational characteristics.

3. Familiarize the students with the analysis of basic bridge circuits used for instrumentation

Wheatstone bridge circuits are often used with strain gauges and other resistive sensors for signal conditioning. It provides signal conditioning for a variety of sensor types consisting of four "arms", each of which is an impedance element. These impedance elements can be resistive elements, capacitors, or inductors. The four impedance elements are arranged in a Wheatstone bridge circuit such that there are two parallel circuits, each consisting of two elements in series. Voltage is applied to the circuit where the two series circuits are joined, and the output voltage is measured between the series elements in each circuit. When the impedance of one of the elements changes, the output voltage of the bridge also changes. For example, if a strain gauge is subjected to a tensile load, its resistance increases, resulting in a positive output voltage. The two elements in each of the series circuits must be identical in order for the Wheatstone bridge circuit to function, although the two series circuits do not necessarily have to be identical. This allows the circuit to self compensate for effects such as temperature changes and sensor drift. The voltage measurement can be used to calculate the exact impedance of the variable elements, which can be converted to a useful measurement, such as strain. The bridge can also be used to adjust an impedance element to a null or zero voltage state. The Wheatstone bridge is analogous to a balance scale used to compare two different weights. A Wheatstone bridge circuit,

while being a very simple circuit, allows engineers to measure impedance at very high accuracies.