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# CHAPTER 3

ELECTRIC CURRENT
AND DIRECTCURRENT CIRCUITS

## CHAPTER 3 : ELECTRIC CURRENT AND

DIRECT-CURRENT CIRCUITS
3.1 Electric Conduction
3.2 Ohms law and Resistivity
3.3 Variation of resistance with temperature
3.4 Electromotive force (emf), internal resistance and
potential difference
3.5 Electrical energy and power
3.6 Resistors in series and parallel
3.7 Kirchhoffs Laws
3.8 Potential divider
3.9 Potentiometer and Wheatstone Bridge

## 3.1 Electrical Conduction

3.1.1 Electrical Current

Fe

Area, A

## Adding a battery imposes an electric potential

difference between the ends of the loop that are
connected to the terminals of the battery.
The battery thus produces an electric field within
the loop from terminal to terminal & the field causes
charges to move around the loop.
The movement of charges is a current, I

## The flow of charge ( current ) persists for as long as

there is a potential difference.
Without a potential difference, no charge flows since
no electric field and electric force produced. Therefore
no current produced.
This is analogue to

## The direction of the current is opposite the direction

of flow of electrons.

## Direction of electric current :

Positive to negative terminal
Direction of electron flows :
Negative to positive terminal

Current, I
electron
flow

## Definition of Electric current (I)

The total charge, Q flowing through an area per unit
time, t.

dQ
I
dt

or

instantaneous current

Q
I
t
average current

## SI Unit of electric current is Ampere (A)

Scalar quantity
Can be measured using an ammeter.
1 ampere of current is defined as one coulomb of
charge passing through the surface area in one
second.
OR

1 coulomb
1
1 ampere
1C s
1 second
Note:
If the charge move around a circuit in the same direction
at all times, the current is called direct current (dc), which is
produced by the battery.

## 3.1.2 Microscopic Model of Current

Metal is good electric conductor. In metal, the
charge carrier is free electrons and a lot of
free electrons are available in it.
In the absence of an electric field (the
potential difference across it is zero) these
free electrons undergo random motion
throughout the lattice structure.
This motion is analogous to the motion of gas
molecules.

## However when a potential

applied across the metal (ex,
battery), an electric field is
metal.
This field exerts an electric
freely moving electrons.

difference is
by means of a
set up in the
force on the

## The freely moving electrons tend to drift with

constant average velocity (drift velocity, vd)
slowly along the metal in a direction opposite
that of the electric field.

## The flow of free electrons in one specific

direction producing a current.

Example
There is a current of 0.5 A in a flashlight bulb for 2 min.
How much charge passes through the bulb during this
time ?
Solution
Given : I = 0.5 A , t = 2 min = 120 s
From:

Q I t 0.5 (120) 60 C

A silver wire carries a current of 3.0 A. Determine
a) the number of electrons per second pass through the
wire,
b) the amount of charge flows through a cross-sectional
area of the wire in 55 s.
(Given charge of electron, e= 1.60 1019 C)
Answer : (a) 1.881019 electrons per second; (b) 165 C

## 3.2 Ohms law and Resistivity ()

3.2.1 Ohms Law
states that the potential difference
(voltage) across a conductor, V is
proportional to the current, I flowing
through it if its physical conditions &
temperature are constant.
Expressed mathematically :

V I
V IR
where V : potential difference (voltage)
I : current flow through
R : Resistance of the conductor

V (V)

m=R
0

I (A)

## Not all materials obey Ohms law.

Materials that obey Ohms law are materials that have
constant resistance over a wide range of voltage.
These materials are called ohmic conductor (ex: pure
metals).
Materials that do not obey the Ohms law are called
non-ohmic conductors (ex: carbon and semiconductor
diode).

3.2.2 Resistance ( R )
-- is a property which opposes or limits current in an
electrical circuit.
Analogue
to

## Definition of Resistance (R)

is defined as the ratio of potential difference (V) across
conductor to the current (I) that flows through it.
Mathematically,

V
R
I

where

I : current

## It is a scalar quantity and its unit is ohm ( ) or V A1

In general, resistance of a conductor depends on :
1.
2.
3.
4.

## Type of material it is made

Its length
Its cross sectional area
Its temperature

## In a circuit, if resistance, R is constant, as V , I .

RUN ANIMATION!

3.2.3 Resistivity ( )
is defined as the resistance of a unit cross-sectional
area per unit length of the material.
Mathematically,

RA

(l)

where R : resistance
l : length of the material

## A : cross - sectional area

o It is a scalar quantity
o Unit is ohm meter ( m)
o It is a measure of a materials ability to
oppose the flow of an electric current.

(A)

RUN ANIMATION!

## o Resistivity depends on the type of the material and

on the temperature.
o A good electric conductors have a very low
resistivities and good insulators have very high
resistivities.
o Table below shows the resistivity for various
materials at 20 C.
Material

Resistivity, ( m)

Silver

1.59 108

Copper

1.68 108

Aluminum

2.82 108

Gold

2.44 108

Glass

10101014

Example
A constantan wire of length 1.0m and cross sectional
area of 0.5 mm2 has a resistivity of 4.9 x 107 m. Find
the resistance of the wire.
Solution
Given: L = 1.0 m , A = 0.5 mm2 = 0.5 x 106 m2
= 4.9 x 107 m
Using:

L
R
A
4.9 107 (1.0)

0.5 106
R 0.98

Example
Two wires P and Q with circular cross section are
made of the same metal and have equal length. If the
resistance of wire P is three times greater than that of
wire Q, determine the ratio of their diameters.
Solution :
Given : same metal : P Q ; same length: lP lQ
From:

RP 3RQ

Q l Q
P l P
3
AP
AQ

d 2
Knowing that : A
4

4 QlQ
dQ 2
4 PlP
3

2
2
2

d P
dP
d Q

dQ
dP

## 3.3 Variation of Resistance with Temperature

3.3.1 Effect of temperature on resistance
o Since the resistivity of a material depends on the
length, l and the cross-sectional area, A which are
affected as temperature changes, thus resistivity
also changes as temperature changes.
Metal:
o The electrical resistance in metal always increases
with increasing temperature.
o As the temperature increases, the ions of the metal
vibrate with greater amplitude and cause the number
of collisions between the free moving electrons and
metal atoms increase. This impedes the drift of free
electrons through the metal and hence reduces the
current, increasing the resistance.

Superconductor
In superconductor, as the temperature decreases, the
resistance (or resistivity) at first decreases smoothly, like that
of any metal.
But then, at a certain critical temperature Tc , the
resistance (or resistivity) suddenly drops to zero.
Table shows the critical temperature for various
superconductors.
Material

Tc(K)

7.18

Mercury

4.15

Tin

3.72

Aluminum

1.19

Zinc

0.88

## Superconductor have many technological

applications such as magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI),magnetic levitation of train,
faster computer chips, powerful electric
motors and etc

## 3.3.2 Temperature coefficient of resistivity ( )

o Over a small temperature range (up to 100C), the
resistivity of a metal can be represented
approximately by to the equation:

O 1 T TO
where

## = the resistivity at some reference temperature To

To

= reference temperature(0 C or 20 C)

= final temperature

## The temperature coefficient of resistivity ( ) is the

ratio of the change of resistivity in a material due to a
change of temperature of 1C to its resistivity at 0C.
1

0 T
Where:

## 0 : the change in resistivity in the temperature interval, T

The unit for Is OC-1 or K1
Because resistance is proportional to resistivity, thus we can write the
formulae of resistance as:

R RO 1 T TO
Various material have various values of .
For example :

## Mercury = 0.89 103 K1

Example
A platinum wire has a resistance of 0.5 at 0C. It is
placed in a water bath where its resistance rises to a final
value of 0.6 . What is the temperature of the bath ?
Solution
From:

R Ro [ 1 (T To ) ]
R Ro Ro (T To )
Ro (T To ) R Ro

0.6 0.5
R Ro
T
To
0
3
Ro
0.5(3.93 10 )
T 50.89 C

## 3.4 Electromotive Force e.m.f (), Internal

Resistance (r) & Potential Difference (V)
3.4.1 Electromotive Force, e.m.f () and Potential
difference, (V)

Figure a

Figure b

## e.m.f () of a battery is the maximum p.d across its terminals

when it is not connected to a circuits. ( Refer Figure a )
Terminal voltage, V is the p.d across the terminals of a battery
when there is a current flowing through it. ( Refer Figure b )
SI unit & V : volt ( V )

## 3.4.2 Internal Resistance of a battery (r)

o Consider a circuit consisting of a battery (cell) that is
connected by wires to an external resistor R as
shown in Figure

R
I

Battery (cell)

## o In reality, when a battery is supplying current, its

terminal voltage is less than its e.m.f,
o This reduces of voltage is due to energy dissipation
in the battery. In effect, the battery has internal
resistance (r).

Mathematically,

I R r

But V = IR , so :

V Ir
where

: e.m.f.
I : current flows through the circuit
R : total external resistance
r : internal resistance of a cell (battery)
V : terminal potential difference (voltage)

## o The internal resistance of a cell is the resistance due

to the chemicals in the cell.
o The internal resistance of a cell constitutes part of
the total resistance in a circuit.
o The maximum current that can flow out from a cell is
determined by the internal resistance of the cell.
o The emf of a battery is constant but the internal
resistance of the battery increases with time as a
result of chemical reaction.

Example
A battery has an e.m.f. of 12 V and an internal
resistance of 0.05 . Its terminals are connected to a
load resistance of 3 .
Find the current in the circuit & the terminal voltage of
the battery.
Solution
Using :

I RI r

12
I

(R r)
3 0.05
I 3.93A

## The terminal voltage,

V IR
3.93(3)
V 11.8 V

Another alternative :
Using :

V I r
V I r
12 3.93(0.05)
V 11.8 V

(1) A battery of e.m.f 3.0 V and internal resistance 5.0 is
connected to a switch by a wire of resistance 100 . The
voltage across the battery is measured by a voltmeter.
What is the voltmeter reading when the switch is
a.
off ? b. on ?
ANS : (a) 3V, (b) 2.86 V
(2) An idealized voltmeter is
connected across the terminals
of a battery while the current is
varied. Figure shows a graph of
the voltmeter reading V as a
function of the current I
through the battery.
Find (a)the emf, and (b) the
internal resistance of the
battery
ANS : (a) 9V, 4,5

## 3.5 Electrical Energy (W) and Power (P)

3.5.1 Electrical Energy (W)
The electric energy, W is the amount of energy given up
by a charge Q in passing through an electric device.

W QV
But Q = It , so :

W VIt

(1)

W I Rt L (2)
2

Vt
W
L (3)
R

## 3.5.2 Power (P)

o Power, P is defined as the energy liberated per unit
time in the electrical device.
o The electrical power P supplied to the electrical device
is given by

W VIt
P
t
t

P IV

## o When the electric current flows through wire or

resistor, hence the potential difference across it is

V IR
then the electrical power can be written as
2

PI R

OR

V
P
R

1.

## A wire of unknown composition has a resistance of 35.0

when immersed in the water at 20.0 C. When the wire is
placed in the boiling water, its resistance rises to 47.6 .
Calculate the temperature on a hot day when the wire has a
resistance of 37.8 .
(Physics,7th edition, Cutnell & Johnson, Q15, p.639)

ANS. : 37.78 C
a. A battery of emf 6.0 V is connected across a 10
resistor.
If the potential difference across the resistor is 5.0
V, determine
i. the current in the circuit,
ii. the internal resistance of the battery.
b. When a 1.5 V dry cell is short-circuited, a current of 3.0 A
flows through the cell. What is the internal resistance of
the cell?
ANS. : 0.50 A, 2.0 ; 0.50
2.

3.

## A wire 5.0 m long and 3.0 mm in diameter has a resistance of

100 . A 15 V of potential difference is applied across the
wire. Determine
a. the current in the wire,
b. the resistivity of the wire,
c. the rate at which heat is being produced in the wire.
(College Physics,6th edition, Wilson, Buffa & Lou, Q75, p.589)

## ANS. : 0.15 A; 1.414 104 m; 2.25 W

A copper wire has a resistance of 25 m at 20 C. When the
wire is carrying a current, heat produced by the current
causes the temperature of the wire to increase by 27 C.
a. Calculate the change in the wires resistance.
b. If its original current was 10.0 mA and the potential difference
across wire remains constant, what is its final current?
(Given the temperature coefficient of resistivity for copper is
6.80 103 C1)
ANS. : (a) 4.59103 ; (b) 8.45103 A
4.

## 3.6 Resistors In Series And Parallel

3.6.1 Resistors in series
Consider three resistors are connected in series to the
battery as shown in Figure below.

I I1 I 2 I 3

## The potential difference (voltage) applied across the

series combination of resistors will divide between the
resistors.

V V1 V2 V3

V IR1 IR 2 IR 3 (1)
To replace the resistors by one resistor which has an
equivalent resistance, RE & maintain the same current,
we have :

V IRE L (2)
Substitute (2) into (1) :

IRE IR1 IR 2 IR 3

## Canceling the common Is , we get :

RE R1 R 2 R 3
Extending this result to the case of n resistors connected
in series combination:

RE R1 R 2 R 3 ... Rn
where RE is the effective (equivalent) resistance

## Same potential difference, V across the resistors where

V V1 V2 V3
Current divides into different path at the junction.

I I1 I 2 I 3
V V V
I
(1)
R1 R 2 R 3

## Resistors connected in parallel can be replaced with an

equivalent resistor, RE that has the same potential
difference V & the same total current I as the actual
resistors.

V
I
L (2)
RE

## Substitute (2) into (1) :

V V V V

RE R 1 R 2 R 3
Canceling the common Vs , we get :

1
1 1 1

RE R 1 R 2 R 3

## Extending this result to the case of n resistors connected

in parallel combination:

1
1 1 1
1
...
RE R1 R 2 R 3
Rn
Example
What is the equivalent resistance of the resistors in
figure below ?
R2
R4

R3

R1

A
B

R1 = R2 = R3 = R4 = 1

Solution
Another view of the circuit :
A
R2
R4

R3

1
1 1
1 1

2
R 34 R 3 R 4 1 1

R1

1
R 34
2

A
R2
R34

R1

R 2 34 R 2 R 34

1 3
1
2 2

## Circuit has been reduced to :

A

R234

1
1
1
1 2 5

RE R1 R 234 1 3 3

R1

3
RE
5

Example
Find the current in & voltage of the 10 resistor shown
in Figure.
R1
R3

R2

Solution
1st, find the RE for the circuit & get the current, I flow in
the circuit

1
1 1 1 1 6

Rp R1 R 2 10 2 10

Rp 1.67

RE R 3 R p
1.67 5.0

RE 6.67

## The current flow in the circuit :

V 18 2.7 A
I
RE 6.67
As R3 & R1 in series combination

V V 3 V 1
V 1 V IR 3 18 2.7(5)
V 1 4.5 V

V 1 4.5
0.45 A
I1

R1
10

## In the series case the

same current flows
through both bulbs.
If one of the bulbs
burns out, there will
be no current at all in
the
circuit, and neither
bulb will glow

## In the parallel case the potential

difference across either bulb
remains equal if one of the bulbs
burns out. The
current through the functional bulb
remains equal and the power
delivered to that bulb remains the
same . This is another of the merits of
a parallel arrangement of light bulbs: If
one fails, the other bulbs are
unaffected. This principle is used in
household wiring systems,

(1)

## FIGURE 7 shows the arrangement of five equal

resistors in a circuit. Calculate
i. the equivalent resistance between point x and y.
ii. the voltage across point b and c.
iii. the voltage across point c and y.
ANS : (i) 8 ; (ii) 3 V ; (iii) 9 V

(2)

4.0

12
2.0

8.0 V
For the circuit above, calculate
a. the effective resistance of the circuit,
b. the current passes through the 12 resistor,
c. the potential difference across 4.0 resistor,
d. the power delivered by the battery.
The internal resistance of the battery may be ignored.
ANS : (a) 1.28 ; (b) 0.50A (c) 2 V ; (d) 36 W

## 3.7 Kirchhoffs Law

3.7.1 Kirchhoffs 1st Law : Junction Rule

A statement of
conservation
of electric
charge

## The sum of the currents entering any junction in a circuit

must equal the sum of the currents leaving that junction.

in

out

Example:

I2

I3

I1

I1 I 2 I 3

I3

I2
I1

I 3 I 2 I1

## 3.7.2 Kirchhoffs 2nd Law : Loop Rule

The algebraic sum of the constant voltage e.m.f s is
always equal to the voltage drops around any closed
electrical loop.
Follows from
the laws of
conservation
of energy

IR
Sign convention for & IR ( voltage drop )
direction of loop

direction of loop

direction of loop

direction of loop

R
I

IR

R
I

IR

## 3.7.3 Problem solving strategy (Kirchhoffs Laws)

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

Example

8.50

11.5 V, 2

15.0 V, 4

6.22

15.1

## For the circuit in Figure 5.28, Determine the current

and its direction in the circuit.

Solution :

8.50

11.5 V, 2 I

I
15.0 V, 4

Loop 1

6.22

15.1
By applying the Kirchhoffs 2nd law, thus

IR
15.0 11.5 15.1I 6.22 I 2 I 8.50 I 4 I
I 0.74 A
(anticlockwise)

Example

12V
D

1
I 1 1A

3
I 2 2A

## Find the value of current, I , resistance R & the

e.m.f,

Solution
Consider Junction B & apply the Kirchhoffs 1st law :

I1

I
I2

Iin Iout
I I 1 I 2 1 2
I 3A

## Breaking the given complex circuit into several simple closed

circuits & apply the Kirchhoffs 2nd law:
For closed loop DCEFD : ( traverse clock
wise )

IR
12 IR I 2(3)
12 3R 2(3)
R2

## For closed loop ABEFA : ( traverse clock wise )

IR
I 1(1) I 2(3)
1 6
5 V
5 V
* The ve sign shows that the polarity of is
actually the reverse of that shown in
figure.
* If the value of current is ve, this shows
that the actual direction of current flow is
reverse of that shown in figure.

Example

I1, I2 and I3

Solution

a
Loop 1

Loop 2

At Junction c :

Iin Iout
I 1 I 2 I 3 (1)

## Refer Loop 1 ( acdba clockwise )

IR
30 10 I 1 10 I 2 20 I 1 10 I 1
30 40 I 1 10 I 2 (2)
Refer Loop 2 ( cefdc clockwise )

IR
20 10 10 I 3 20 I 3 10 I 3 10 I 2
10 40 I 3 10 I 2 (3)

## Substitute (2) into (1):

30 40( I 2 I 3) 10 I 2
30 50 I 2 40 I 3 (4)
Solve (3) & (4) simultaneously :

(3) (4) :

10 40 I 3 10 I 2 (3)
30 50 I 2 40 I 3 (4)

-------------------------------------------------

20 60 I 2
I 0.3333A
2

## Substitute I2 = 0.3333 A into (3), we get :

Substitute I2 & I3 into (1), we get :

I 3 0.3333A

I 1 0.6666A

6.7

3.9

(1)

1.2

12 V

I1

9.8

9.0 V

I2

## For the circuit above, determine

a. the currents I1, I2 and I,
b. the potential difference across the 6.7 resistor,
c. the power dissipated from the 1.2 resistor.
ANS: (a) I1 = 0.72 A; I2=1.03 A; I = 1.75 A
(b) 6.90 V
(c) 3.68 W

(2)

kind.

## The circuit shown in Fig. (a) contains two batteries, each

with an emf and an internal resistance, and two resistors.
Find
(a) the current in the circuit,
(b) the potential difference Vab with respect to b and
(c) The power output of the emf of each battery
Ans : (a) 0.5 A ; (b) 9.5 V ; (c) 6 W; 2 W

(3) Battery P with e.m.f 1.3 V and internal resistance 2 , battery Q with e.m.f 1.5
V and internal resistance 0.8 and a 4 resistor are connected in parallel.
(i) Sketch the circuit diagram.
(ii) Calculate the current in battery P, battery Q, and the 4 resistor.
(iii) Calculate the potential difference across the 4 resistor.
Ans : (ii) 0.297A; 0.0186 A; 0.316 A; (iii) 1.26 V
(4) Refering to the circuit in Figure below, calculate
(a)The current, I that flows in R resistor.
(b)The resistance of R resistor.
(c)The value of emf
(d)The current that flows in R resistance if the circuit is cut off at point x.
(Internal resistance of the emf source is negligible).

(5)

## The internal resistance of all the batteries in FIGURE 8

are negligible. Calculate the current I1, I2 and I3 when
switch S is
i. open.
ii. closed.
Ans : (a) I1=I2 = 1.83 A, I3 = 0A ; (ii) 2.52 A, 1.15A, 1.37 A

## 3.8 Potential Divider

-- used to obtain any desired smaller portion of voltage
from a single voltage source, Vo

Voltage source, Vo

R1

R2

V1
-- 2 resistors R1 & R2 are connected to a voltage source
( battery ) with voltage Vo

Vo IRE

where RE R1 R 2

Vo
I
K (1)
( R1 R 2 )
-- the current through R1 & R2 are same.

From : V 1 IR1
Substitute (1) into the equation:

R1
V1
Vo
( R1 R 2 )
Similarly:

R2
V2
Vo
( R1 R 2 )

## -- by using different values of R1 & R2 different

voltage can be obtained from a voltage source, Vo
(battery).

Example

8000
12 V

4000

Vout

## For the circuit in Figure below above,

a. calculate the output voltage.
b. If a voltmeter of resistance 4000 is connected across
the output, determine the reading of the voltmeter.

## Solution : R1 8000 ; R2 4000 ;V

a. The output voltage is given by

Vout

R2
V
R1 R2

Vout

Vout

12 V

4000

12
8000 4000
4 .0 V

## b. The connection between the voltmeter and 4000 resistor is

parallel, thus the equivalent resistance is

1
1
1

Req 2000

Vout

Vout

2000

12
8000 2000
2 .4 V

## 3.9 Potentiometer and Wheatstone Bridge

3.9.1 Potentiometer
Consider a potentiometer circuit is shown in Figure below

## V (Driver cell -accumulator)

I
A

I
I

G
+V -

Jockey

(Unknown voltage)
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. Thus

Galvanometer reading = 0
When the potentiometer in balanced, the unknown
voltage (potential difference being measured) is
equal to the voltage across AC.
V

Vx VAC

I
I

Vx-

## Potentiometer can be used to

compare the emfs of two cells.
measure an unknown emf of a cell.
measure the internal resistance of a cell.

## Application : Compare the emfs of two cells or find

unknown emf
o In this case, a potentiometer is set up as illustrated in Figure
below, in which AB is a wire of uniform resistance and J is a
sliding contact (jockey) onto the wire.
o An accumulator X maintains a steady current I through the
wire AB.
X

I
A

l1

l2
C

1
(1)

(2)

I
B

## o Initially, switch S is connected to the terminal (1) and the jockey

moved until the emf 1 exactly balances the potential difference (p.d.)
from the accumulator (galvanometer reading is zero) at point C.
X
Hence

1 VAC

where

VAC IRAC

then

and

l1
RAC
A

l1
1 I
A

C D

(1)

J
(1)

SG

(2)

o After that, the switch S is connected to the terminal (2) and the
jockey moved until the emf 2 balances the p.d. from the
accumulator at point D. Hence

where

then

and

l2
A

l2
2 I

(2)

I
B

l1
I

1
A

2
l2
I

A
Since

1
l1

2 l2

l1
R
Rl
A

## Equation above can be written as

1
R1

2
R2

Example
Consider a potentiometer. If a standard battery with an
e.m.f. of 1.0186 V is used in the circuit. When the
resistance is 36 , the galvanometer reads zero. If the
standard battery is replaced by an unknown e.m.f. the
galvanometer reads zero when the resistance is
adjusted to 48 . What is the value of the unknown
e.m.f. ?
Solution

1
R1

2
R2
1.0186 36

2
48

Using :

2 1.358 V

1.

## In Figure 1, PQ is a uniform wire of length 1.0 m and

resistance 10.0 .

R1

Q
2

P
G

R2

S1

S2

## and negligible internal resistance.

R1 is a 15 resistor and R2 is a 5.0
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
a. the emf of cell 2.
b. the internal resistance of cell 2.

Figure 1
ANS. : (a) 0.50 V; (b) 7.5 ;

2.

## 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 2.

## 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 emf of the cell B is 1.0
V. Calculate

Figure 2
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 emf of cell A.

## 3.9.2 Wheatstone Bridge [ Jambatan Wheatstone ]

-- used to obtain an accurate measurement of an
unknown resistance Rx

I
I1
A

I2

R1

C I1

R2

G 0

R3

D I2

I
B

Rx

## -- The bridge is made up of 4 resistor arms R1, R2, R3, Rx

and points C,D are joined by a center link or bridge
which contains a galvanometer.
-- one of the known resistor ( for example R1 ) is
varied until the galvanometer reading is zero.

## -- No current flows through C to D, thus there will be

no voltage difference between points C & D, VCD = 0
-- under this condition, the bridge is said to be
balanced.
-- Therefore

## VAC VAD ; VCB VDB

-- Resistors R1R2 carry the same current I1
-- Resistors R3RX carry the same current I2

I 1 R1 I 2 R 3 (1)
I 1 R 2 I 2 RX (2)

(2)
:
(1)

Rx
R2

R3
R1

Example
A wheatstone bridge is used to make a precise
measurement of the resistance of a wire connector. If
R = 1 k & the bridge is balanced by adjusting P such
that P = 2.5 Q, what is the value of X ?

R1

R2

R3

RX

Solution
Using : RX

R2

R3 R1

X 1103

Q 2.5Q
X 400

1.

## Determine the value of the resistor R such that the current

through the 85.0 resistor is zero.
(Physics,3th edition, James S. Walker, Q93, p.731)

ANS. :

7.50

## Application of the Wheatstone Bridge

The application of the Wheatstone bridge is Metre Bridge.

Thick copper
strip

(Unknown
Rx resistance)

(resistance box)

I1

I1

Jockey
FOLLOW0UP
GEXERCISE

l1

I
Wire of uniform
resistance

I2

l2

Accumulator

## 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. Thus the current I1 flows
through the resistance Rx and R but
current I2 flows in the wire AB.

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

At balance condition,
Vx VAJ and V VJB
By applying Ohms law, thus
I1 Rx I 2 RAJ and I1 R
Dividing
I R
I R gives
1

I1 R

AJ

I 2 RJB

where

l1

Rx A

R l2

l1
Rx
l2

RAJ

I 2 RJB

l1
l2

and RJB
A
A

Next Chapter
CHAPTER 4 :
Magnetic field