Physics 2
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Virtual Activity: Kirchhoff's Rules
     In this activity you will build similar circuits to the ones worked on in the practice problems. You will be using a virtual lab environment, so there is no danger to yourself or the equipment. I suggest that you familiarize yourself with the operation of the virtual equipment prior to building the circuits by "playing around" with all the circuit elements, but your ultimate job in this activity is to use the meters to find readings that support the answers you will calculate. So before you do anything else, please work out the answers (find the currents) in the circuit problems you find below.
kirchoff lab circuits 3

1. Please put any ammeters you use in series with the resistor through which you are trying to find current. Additionally, put any voltmeters you use in parallel with the resistor for which you are trying to find the voltage drop. The picture below shows the meters appropriately connected.
2. If you "right click" a connection you can disconnect it. This will help when you want to disassemble a circuit prior to building a new one.
3. You can adjust the magnitude of any of the circuit elements by "right clicking" on the element. For example, if you want to change the resistance of a resistor, right click it and change to value to the desired magnitude.
4. You can make to visualization of the equipment "lifelike" or "schematic." It doesn't change the results.
5. The motion of the charges in the wires is that of electrons. The conventional current would be the opposite of what you see.
6. The simulation must be in "Play" mode to operate. The simulation will not operate when in "Pause" mode.

lab sketch

     When you are ready please click the link below to open the Java-based simulation. The simulation may open into a new window or it may download into a folder (on a mac this would be the download folder by default.) and you need to double click the file after it downloads to allow it to run.     

Circuit Construction Kit (DC Only)
Click to Run

     After the simulation opens, please build the circuits shown above, one at a time, with the tools you will find in the simulation. Make sure that you check the readings given in the simulation to those you determined when working out the problems by hand. If you get different readings than you expect, try to determine why. 

     Keep a record of your findings in your lab notebook. When you are finished using the simulations, return to this page.

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