AS physics unit 3 revision notes (prt 1 - electricity experiments)

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PHYSICS
EXPERIMENTS
(ELECTRICITY)
`In the matter of physics, the first lessons should contain
nothing but what is experimental and interesting to see. A
pretty experiment is in itself often more valuable than twenty
formulae extracted from our minds.' - Albert Einstein
www.psi-net.org
1

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LEAVING CERTIFICATE PHYSICS
LISTED EXPERIMENTS
CONTENTS
ELECTRICITY
Verification of Joule's law (as I 2) ............................................................................ 4
To measure the resistivity of the material of a wire........................................................... 6
To investigate the variation of the resistance of a metallic conductor with temperature 8
To investigate the variation of the resistance of a thermistor with temperature ............ 10
To investigate the variation of current (I) with p.d. (V) for
(a) a metallic conductor.............................................. 11
(b) a filament bulb ...................................................... 12
(c) copper sulfate solution with copper electrodes.....…read more

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Experiment at Higher Level only*
NOTE
For examination purposes any valid method will be acceptable for describing a particular
experiment unless the syllabus specifies a particular method in a given case.
Students will be expected to give details of equipment used, assembly of equipment, data
collection, data manipulation including graphs where relevant. Students will also be
expected to know the conclusion or result of an experiment and appropriate precautions.
SAFETY
1.…read more

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VERIFICATION OF JOULE'S LAW (As I 2)
Apparatus
Lagged beaker or calorimeter with a lid, heating coil, battery or low voltage power
supply, rheostat, ammeter or multimeter, thermometer, stopwatch, balance.
10°C
A
Lid
Digital
thermometer
Calorimeter Water
Heating coil Lagging
Procedure
1. Put sufficient water in a calorimeter to cover the heating coil. Set up the circuit as
shown.
2. Note the temperature.
3. Switch on the power and simultaneously start the stopwatch. Allow a current of
0.5 A to flow for five minutes.…read more

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Results
1/°C 2/°C /°C I/A I 2/A2
A straight-line graph through the origin verifies that I 2 i.e. Joule's law.
Notes
Ensure that the rheostat current limit exceeds 3 A.
The heat energy produced is the mass multiplied by specific heat capacity multiplied by
rise in temperature: H = mc .
The energy liberated per second in the device is defined as the electrical power. This
energy is P = RI 2.
Therefore RI 2 = mc /t
or I 2 = (mc/Rt) .…read more

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TO MEASURE THE RESISTIVITY OF THE MATERIAL OF A WIRE
Apparatus
Length of wire (nichrome, manganin), micrometer, ohmmeter, metre stick.
Nichrome
Crocodile clips
wire
Micrometer
l
Metre stick
Bench clamp Stand
Procedure
1. Note the resistance of the leads when the crocodile clips are connected together.
2. Tie a length (2 or 3 metres) of nichrome/manganin between the bars of the two
stands as shown above. Stretch the wire enough to remove any kinks or `slack' in
the wire.
3.…read more

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Results
Micrometer Reading/mm
Resistance of leads =
Micrometer zero error =
Average of micrometer readings =
Diameter of wire =
R/ l/m R / m
/ m-1
l
Average value of =
Notes
Safety glasses should be worn as the wire could snap when stretched.
Use a micrometer with a slip-screw.
If clamps are unavailable, two students may hold the stands to keep the wire stretched
enough to avoid kinks.…read more

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TO INVESTIGATE THE VARIATION OF THE RESISTANCE OF A
METALLIC CONDUCTOR WITH TEMPERATURE
Apparatus
Coil of wire (see note), glycerol, beaker, heat source, thermometer, ohmmeter, boiling
tube.
10º C
10ºC
Digital
thermometer
Water Wire wound
on frame
Glycerol
Heat source
Procedure
1. Place the coil of wire in the boiling tube with the glycerol and place it in a beaker
of water.
2. Arrange the beaker over the heat source.
3. Connect the ohmmeter to the coil of wire.
4.…read more

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Results
R /
/ °C
Notes
The coil is commercially available. It is called the temperature co-efficient of resistance
apparatus with temperature apparatus.…read more

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TO INVESTIGATE THE VARIATION OF THE RESISTANCE OF A
THERMISTOR WITH TEMPERATURE
Apparatus
Thermistor, boiling tube containing glycerol or liquid paraffin, beaker, heat source,
thermometer, ohmmeter.
10°C Digital
thermometer
Water
Thermistor
Glycerol
Heat source
Procedure
1. Set up the apparatus as shown.
2. Connect the ohmmeter to the thermistor.
3. Use the thermometer to note the temperature of the glycerol and thermistor.
4. Record the resistance of the thermistor using the ohmmeter.
5. Heat the beaker.
6.…read more

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