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PRACTICAL 4

STRUCTURE
To verify experimentally Kirchhoff's voltage and current law
Objective
To verify experimentally Kirchhoff's voltage and current law
Apparatus
Two batteries of different voltages V and V
Ammeter
Voltmeter
Resistors: Three
Connecting wires
Theory
Kirchhoff described two laws extended from Ohms law. The first law is known as
Kirchhoff's current law (KCL) and the second law is known as Kirchhoff's voltage
law (KVL). Kirchhoffs current law describes the manner in which the electrical
current is distributed through a junction. A junction is a point where two or more
current carrying paths (or branches) meet. Kirchhoff's current law states that:
The algebraic sum of all the currents entering into and leaving out of a junction is
equal to zero.
In other words, the total current flowing into a junction is equal to total current
flowing out of the junction. The sign convention for the incoming current is taken as
+ ve and for the outgoing current it is taken as ve.
Figure 1 shows the KCL circuit:

Figure 1: Displaying the KCL Circuit
From Figure 1, you can see that there are two junctions A and B. Applying
Kirchhoffs current law at junction A, you get:
I = I
1
+ I
2
+ I
3

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Similarly, applying Kirchhoffs current law at junction B, you get:
I = I
1
+ I
2
+ I
3
Second law given by Kirchhoff is known as Kirchhoff's voltage law. This law
describes the manner in which voltage is distributed in a closed circuit, or loop of an
electrical circuit. Kirchhoff's voltage law states that:
The algebraic sum of all the voltages or potential drops in a closed circuit must be
equal to zero.
In other words, the sum of all the voltage drops in a closed circuit is equal to the
source voltage. The voltage drops may be that of power sources (i.e. batteries),
resistors, and devices such as lamps plugged into the circuit.
Figure 2 shows the KVL circuit:


Figure 2: Displaying the KVL Circuit
From Figure 2, you can see that there are four voltage drops, three across the resistors
and one across the voltage source. Applying Kirchhoffs voltage law around the loop,
you get:
V V
1
V
2
V
3
= 0
or
V = V
1
+ V
2
+ V
3

The voltages should be written with the proper sign while going round a loop. While
going from the ve terminal of battery to its +ve terminal, the voltage drop is taken
as + ve. While going from the + ve terminal to the ve terminal, the voltage drop is
taken as ve.





Procedure
The steps to prove the Kirchhoff's current law are as follows:
Step 1. Connect the KCL circuit using connecting wires as shown in
Figure 1.
Formatted:
Figure,
Left

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Formatted: Font: Arial, 10 pt
Formatted: Font: Arial, 10 pt
Formatted: Font: Arial, 10 pt
Step 2. Connect ammeter to branches containing R
1
, R
2
and R
3
.
Step 3. Switch on the battery of V volts.
Step 4. Measure the currents I
1
, I
2
and I
3
one by one and measure note down the
reading.
Step 5. Repeat steps 1 to 4 for battery of V volts.
Step 6. Apply Kirchhoffs current law at junctions A and B and verify the result.
The steps to prove the Kirchhoff's voltage law are as follows:
Step 7. Connect the KVL circuit using connecting wires as in Figure 2.
Step 8. Switch on the battery of V volts.
Step 9. Measure V
1
, V
2
and V
3
using voltmeter.
Step 10. Select a direction, either clockwise or anticlockwise in the loop
Step 11. Apply Kirchhoff's voltage law in the loop and verify the result.
Step 12. Repeat above steps 7 to 11 for battery of V volts.
Observations
The observation table for KCL can be drawn as follows:
Branch Currents
Source Voltage I
1
I
2
I
3

V
V

By applying Kirchhoffs current law, you get
I = I
1
+ I
2
+ I
3
The observation table for KVL can be drawn as follows:

Voltages
Source Voltage
V
1
V
2
V
3

V
V

By applying Kirchhoffs voltage law, you get
V = V
1
+ V
2
+ V
3





Calculations
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Formatted:
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Conclusion
The results of the practical experiment are in agreement with the laws studied in
theory. Hence, the laws are validated.