Voltage Circuit Simulator
This exercise will help you determine the relationship between voltage (V),
amperage (I) and resistance (R). This relationship is called Ohm's Law
This experiment consists of modifying a circuit. The circuit is made up of four parts:
- a battery that outputs an amount
of energy. This energy is called voltage (V) and the unit of measurement is
- a wire, which has resistance (R). Resistance inhibits the amount of
current running along the circuit. The greater the resistance, the lower the current.
- a light bulb
which has an amperage
(I). The amperage of the light bulb tells us how much energy the light bulb
- a switch, which turns the system on and off.
The problem consists of two parts:
- Find the formula which describes Ohm's Law; that is, find the mathematical relationship
between voltage (V), amperage (I), and resistance (R).
- Determine the amperage of the light bulb.
The first part will be discovered through a trial-and-error experiment. You are given a
circuit on which you may vary the voltage by choosing from a variety of batteries
resistance by adding resistors to the circuit. You will then turn on the switch, allowing current to flow
through the circuit. If the resistance is too low, the light bulb will receive too much
energy, and will explode. If the resistance is too great, the light bulb will not receive
enough energy, and will not light. If the resistance is just right, the light bulb
If the light bulb explodes or fails to light, turn off the switch (which automatically
replaces the light bulb) and try again.
First, concentrate on changing the resistance to get the lightbulb to turn on. Once you
get a working circuit write down your values, change the value of the battery, and try
again. You should begin to see the relationship between V, I, and A.
You should then be able to derive what the Amperage of the lightbulb is.
Each battery and resistor has a value printed on it which reflects the objects voltage and
- To add batterys to the circuit, use the mouse to drag a battery from the toolbox (the
box containing the various resistors and batterys) and drop it onto the larger battery on
- To add resistors to the circuit, drag a resistor from the toolbox onto the empty box
located on the circuit. Multiple resistors may be added to the circuit.
- To remove resistors, simply drag the resistor you wish to remove from the circuit and
drop it anywhere outside of the resistor box.
- To turn the circuit on and off, click once on the switch.
Now that you know Ohm's law, you can apply it to a circuit where all values are known.
In this next circuit, the lightbulb has a different amperage than in the previous
experiment. Furthermore, we will tell you what the amperage of the lightbulb is. Given
this information, you should be able to complete the circuit correctly with one try.
This page requires a Java aware browser
The source for the Java applet can be found here
Graphic images by Amy Hulse
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