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Francesca Novelli

ENGR 2405

10/07/14

Lab 3 Proportionality & Superposition

Objective: For students to verify the proportionality and superposition theorems


Background: The Proportionality Theorem (a.k.a Linearity) says that the response in a circuit is
proportional to the source acting in the circuit. The following equation, Vout = K Vin , describes
the relationship between the proportionality constant K and the input and output voltages.
In Figure 1, Vin = 10V is the voltage source and Vout is the 5.1 k resistor.

The Superposition Theorem states that the response in a linear circuit with many sources can be
found by adding the individual responses caused by the separate independent sources acting
alone. When an independent sources acts alone, all of the other voltage sources are replaced by
short circuits and all other independent current sources are replaced by open circuits.
Materials & Equipment:
Assorted Resistors (1 k, 2 k, 5.1 k)
Breadboard
Variable Power Supply
Digital Multi Meter
Assorted jumpers, cables and wires
Paper & Pencil
Procedure:
Part 1: Proportionality Theorem
Measure Vout for the 4 input voltages
Calculate K in each case.
Plot a Graph with Vin on x-axis & Vout on the y-axis using Excel

Francesca Novelli

ENGR 2405

10/07/14

Part 2: Superposition Theorem


Measure and record the voltage across the 5.1 k resistor
Construct Figure 3. Measure and record the voltage across the 5.1 k resistor.
Fill out Table 2 and verify Vout in the 3rd circuit equals to the sum of Vout in the 1st
and 2nd circuits.

Calculations & Results:

Task 1: Measure Vout & Calculate K


Vout (V)
0.589
1.177
2.354
2.943

Vin (V)
2
4
8
10
Vout = K Vin
K = (0.589)/(2)
K = 0.2945

K
0.2945
0.29425
0.29425
0.2943

K = Vout
Vin
K = (1.177)/(4)

K = (2.354)/(8)

K = (2.943)/(10)

K = 0.29425

K= 0.29425

K = 0.2943

Proportionality Constant K
3.5
3
2.5
2
Proportionality
Constant K

1.5
1
0.5
0
2

10

Francesca Novelli

ENGR 2405

10/07/14

Task 2: Measure Vout for each of the three circuits


Power Source
Vout (V)
With only 10 V source
2.95
With only 5 V Source
2.95
With both 5V and 10V sources
5.9
Caluclated K value: K = 2.95V / 10V = 0.295
Discussion Questions & Answers:
Q1: Is the graph obtained in a straight line? A: No, but it is very close to a straight line.
The slope of the graph is about 0.294 if you round. The calculated value of K is 0.295.
The slight difference of 0.001 in K values could have occurred due to a defect in the
resistors, circuit or imprecise measurement. The graph would have had a straight line if I
rounded the values to 0.294 instead of keeping the exact value.
Q2: For each of the 3 circuits you built for the superposition experiment, how well did
the calculated and measured outputs compare? Explain any differences.
A: The 10 Vin has a calculated V out value of 2.943 using proportionality and a value of
2.95 using superposition. The difference is by 0.007 and this error could have occurred
due to change in temperature, defect in resistors or inaccurate measurements made by
me or the multi meter.