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SERIES AND PARALLEL CIRCUIT LAB
CLASS SET – WRITE ON LEFT PAGE ADJACENT TO 16.1 NOTES IN SCIENCE NOTEBOOK
Each individual of a lab group will be writing down data and answering questions after performing the instructed tasks
and discussing with your lab group.
As a reminder:
a. Testing voltage: Leads from multimeter on either side of a battery or multiple batteries
(connected + to -) in a closed circuit (use the 4 DC Volts setting on multimeter). The red lead must be
plugged into the “VΩHz” hole on the multimeter.
b. Testing current: use the leads from the multimeter to close an open circuit, so electricity flows through
the multimeter (use the 2000 mAmp DC setting on the multimeter). Remember that a milliamp is
1/1000th of an amp. You need to change the position of the red lead to the “µA mA” hole to test current.
c. Testing resistance: Leads on either side of the resistor in an open circuit (use the 400Ω setting on the
multimeter). Red lead should be in “VΩHz” hole.
SERIES CIRCUIT – look on pg. 401 in the text book for a picture of a series circuit.
1) Using your multimeter, test the voltage of your D battery: _________________
2) With one light bulb in a series circuit with one D battery as the power source, what is the current in the circuit?
3) Test the resistance of the red, blue, and green resistors:
green _________ , blue __________ ,
red ___________
4) Place each resistor separately into the circuit with the one light bulb and one D battery and test the current for
each:
green _________ , blue __________ ,
red ___________
5) How does the brightness of the light bulb compare with the three different resistors?
6) In place of the resistor place the potentiometer into the circuit (look on page 399 in the text book at your lab
station for a picture and description). What does the potentiometer do, and do you think you have used one
before – if so, where?
PARALLEL CIRCUIT – look on pg. 407 in text book for what a parallel circuit is.
1) Construct a 2 bulb parallel circuit with one D battery. Test the voltage drop across and current through each
light bulb: ______________
2) Construct a 2 bulb series circuit with one D battery. Test the voltage drop across and the current through each
light bulb: _______________
3) How do the brightness of the bulbs compare in the two circuits? Try to come up with a reason for your
observations (feel free to look in the text book in section 16.3 and 16.4 for help)
4) Have your equipment manager come procure a second D battery and complete Parallel Circuit questions #1-3
again using two D batteries connected “+ to –“. (What happens if the batteries are connected “+ to +” or
“- to –“?)
When you have completed these questions, feel free to experiment with the circuit and multimeter or complete
tonight’s reading until everyone is finished.