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Ideas of Potential Difference Gravitational potential energy at X is __________ than the gravitational potential energy at Y. The apple will fall from _____ to _____ when the apple is released.

This is due to the difference in the gravitational potential energy.


Point A is connected to ________ terminal Point B is connected to _________ terminal Electric potential at A is _________ than the electric
potential at B.
A Bulb B

Electric current flows from A to B, passing the bulb in the

circuit and ________ _______ the bulb.

This is due to the electric __________ __________ between the two terminals. As the charges flow from A to B, work is done when electrical energy is transformed to
______ and ________ energy.

The potential difference, V between two points in a circuit is defined as the work done when 1 C of charge moves between two points in an electric field. Potential difference, V = Work done, W or V = Energy,E Charge, Q Charge,Q

V =

W E = Q Q

SI unit is Volt (V) = Joule per coulomb

1 Volt = 1 joule per coulomb. The potential difference across two points in a circuit is 1 Volt if 1 Joule of work is done in moving 1 Coulomb of charge from one point to the other.


Device and symbol ammeter voltmeter connecting wire Cells

Switch Constantan wire // eureka wire bulb

resistance rheostat

Measuring Current and Potential Difference/Voltage Measurement of electricity Measurement of potential difference/voltage

(a) Electrical circuit

(a) Electrical circuit

(b) Circuit diagram

(b) Circuit diagram


1. Name the device used to measure electrical current. 2. (a) What is the SI unit for current?

1. Name the device used to measure potential difference. 2.(a) What is the SI unit for potential difference? (b) What is the symbol for the unit of potential difference? 3. How is an voltmeter connected in an electrical circuit?

(b) What is the symbol for the unit of current? 3. How is an ammeter connected in an electrical circuit?

4. The positive terminal of an ammeter is connected to which terminal of the dry cell? 5. What will happen if the positive terminal of the ammeter is connected to the negative terminal of the dry cell?

4. The positive terminal of a voltmeter is connected to which terminal of the dry cell?

Experiment: To investigate the relationship between current and potential difference for an ohmic conductor.

(a) readings? Why do the bulbs light up with different intensity? Do Experiment 2.4 in Practical Book page 35 and make a PEKA report.


Figure (a) and figure (b) show two electrical circuits. Why do the ammeters show different


Referring to the figure (a) and (b) complete the following table to plan & conduct an experiment to find the relationship between current and potential difference. Aim:

Hypothesis: Variables Manipulated variable: Responding variable: Controlled variables: Procedure Apparatus: Rheostat, constantan wire, switch, connecting wire, batteries, ammeter, voltmeter

Control MV Measure RV Repeat Tabulate Analyze

Turn on the switch and adjust the rheostat until the ammeter reads the current, I = 0.2 A. Read the value of the potential difference, V, from the voltmeter. Record the readings. Repeat the experiment for I = 0.3 A, 0.4 A, 0.5 A, 0.6 A Tabulate the data. Plot a graph of V against I. Repeat the experiment by replacing the constantan wire, which is ohmic conductor with an electric bulb which is a non-ohmic conductor. Constantan wire I/A V/V Light bulb I/A V/V


Discussion 1. Sketch the graph V vs I and describe the shape of each graph. ohmic conductor constantant wire non ohmic conductor light bulb

2. What is the relationship between V and I for the ohmnic conductor? _________________________________________________________________________ 3. Find the gradient of the graph for the ohmic conductor.

4. What is the physical quantity represented by the gradient of the graph? _________________________________________________________________________ 5. Why are the two graphs in the experiment different from each other? _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ 6. What is the function of the rheostat in the circuit? _________________________________________________________________________ 7. What precautions must you take in order to obtain more accurate results? ________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Describe the relationship between current and potential difference The greater the potential difference or voltage, the greater the current flow. When the potential difference between two points in a circuit increases, the current flowing through it increases. When the potential difference (V) between the points decreases, the current (I) decreases. The potential difference is directly proportional to the current flowing through it. State Ohms Law ancal cond

Ohms law states that the electric current, I flowing through a conductor is directly proportional to the potential difference across it if the temperature and other physical conditions are constant.


iFrom Ohms Law,

I or

V = constant = gradient I The graph of V against I is straight line through the origin.
The gradient of the graph is constant. Define Resistance, R

The resistance (R) of a conductor is defined as the ratio of the potential difference (V) across the conductor to the current (I) flowing through it.



The unit of resistance is _________________ An _____________ ____________ is one which obeys Ohms law, while a conductor which
does not obey Ohms law is known as a _____________ conductor

Ohms equation = V = IR

V = potential difference I = electric current R = resistance

Factors Affecting Resistance

1. The resistance of a conductor is a measure of the ability of the conductor to (resist / allow)
the flow of an electric current through it.

2. From the formula V = IR, the current I is (directly / inversely) proportional to the resistance,

3. When the value of the resistance, R is large, the current, I flowing in the conductor is
(small / large)

4. What are the factors affecting the resistance of a conductor? a) . b) . c) . d) .


5. Write down the relevant hypothesis for the factors affecting the resistance in the table below. Factors Length of the conductor, l Diagram Hypothesis The longer the length of the conductor, the __________ its resistance Resistance is __________ proportional to the length of a conductor The larger the cross sectional area, the ____________ the its resistance Resistance is __________ proportional to the crosssectional area of a conductor Different conductors with the same physical conditions have ________ resistance Graph

The temperature of The type of the The cross-sectional conductor conductor, A the conductor material of the area of the

The higher the temperature of a conductor, the _________ the resistance

6. From the table above, the following can be stated: Resistance of a conductor,


1 A l A


Hence, resistance of a conductor, R

where = resistivity of the substance

l A


Do Experiment 2.5 in Practical Book page 37. Make a PEKA report.


Disadvantage of Resistance Resistance causes some of the electrical energy to turn into heat , so some electrical energy is lost along the way if we are trying to transmit electricity from one place to another through conductor.

Advantage of Resistance It is resistance that allows us to use electricity for heat and light. The heat is generated from electric heaters or the light that we get from light bulbs is due to the resistance of the wire. In a light bulb, the current flowing through a resistance filament causes it to become hot and then glow.

The resistance of a metal increases with temperature The resistance of a semiconductor decreases with temperature.

A superconductor is a material whose resistance becomes zero when its temperature drops to a certain value called the critical temperature. This enables superconductors to maintain a current with no applied voltage at that temperature. Able to sustain large currents Smaller power loss during transmission Less heat energy is wasted Small-sized motors and generators can be used.

Applications of Superconductor Magnetic-levitation is an application where superconductors perform extremely well. Transport vehicles such as trains can be made to float on strong superconducting magnets, virtually eliminating friction between the train and its tracks. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is to determine what is going on inside the human body. By exposing the body to a strong superconductor-derived magnetic field, hydrogen atoms that exist in the bodys water and fat molecules are forced to accept energy from the magnetic field. They then release this energy at a frequency that can be detected and displayed graphically by a computer. Electric cable made of superconductors will increase the efficiency of electrical power transmission as the loss of energy in the form of heat is greatly reduced.


Exercise 1 : Solve problems involving potential difference, current and resistance 1. Tick () the correct answers True (a) (b) (c) Unit of potential difference is J C-1 J C-1 volt, V The potential difference between two points is 1 volt if 1 joule of work is required to move a charge of 1 coulomb from one point to another. 2 volt is two joules of work done to move 2 coulomb of charge from one to another in an electric field. Potential difference Voltage False



2. If a charge of 5.0 C flows through a wire and the amount of electrical energy converted into
heat is 2.5 J. Calculate the potential differences across the ends of the wire. 3. A light bulb is switched on for a period of time. In that period of time, 5 C of charges passed through it and 25 J of electrical energy is converted to light and heat energy. What is the potential difference across the bulb?

4. When the potential difference across a bulb is 20 V, the current flow is 3 A. How much work done to transform electrical energy to light and heat energy in 50 s?


3A A 20 V

5. What is the value of the resistor in the figure, if the dry cells supply 2.0 V and the ammeter reading is 0.5 A? V = IR V/V 1.2

6. The graph shows the result of an experiment to determine the resistance of a wire. The resistance of the wire is




1. Which graphs shows the relationship

between potential difference, V, and current, I, for a resistor that obeys Ohms law? (2003)

C. the body of the bird has a low D.

resistance the current flowing through its body is very small

4. Diagram below is a graph shows the

relationship between the potential difference and the current of four different conductors, P, Q, R and S. (2006)

2. Which circuit can be used to determine

the resistance of a bulb? (2003)

Which conductor has resistance? A. P C. R B. Q D. S



5. Diagram below shows an electric circuit.

The reading of the ammeter is 0.2 A and the reading of the voltmeter is 2.8 V.

3. The diagram shows a bird perched on a

high voltage cable.

Calculate the electrical energy released by the bulb in 2 minutes. (2006) A. 0.56 J B. 1.12 J C. 28.00 J D. 67.20 J E. 1680.00 J

6. Which of the following factors does not

The bird does note experience an electric shock because . (2005) A. the potential difference across X and Y is high B. the resistance of the cable across X and Y is very high influence the resistance of a wire? (2007) A. Length of wire B. Material of the wire C. Cross-sectional area of the wire D. Hardness of the wire


7. Figure shows the circuit used to

investigate the relationship between potential difference, V and current, I for a piece of constantan wire. The graph of V against I from the experiment is as shown in the figure below.

(a) What is the function of the voltmeter? (b)

Underline the correct answer in the bracket to complete the sentence below. When the electric current increases, (i) the potential difference (increases, decreases, remains unchanged) (ii) the resistance will (increase, decrease, remain unchanged) (c) State one physical quantity which is kept constant in the experiment.

(a) What quantities are kept constant in this experiment? _____________________________ (b) State the changes in the gradient of the graph, if i) the constantan wire is heated ____________________________ ii) a constantan wire of a smaller cross-sectional area is used ____________________________ increases, hence the gradient incr iii) a shorter constantan wire is used ____________________________

.. 9. Figure 6 shows the graph of current

against potential difference across three conductors P, Q and R.

8. Diagram below shows an electric circuit

which is used to investigate the relationship between electric and potential difference across a conductor XY. (a) Among the three conductors, which one or ones obey Ohms law? Give reason. _____________________________


_____________________________ (b) State Ohms law. _____________________________ _____________________________ (c) The resistance R of a conductor is given as:



What is the resistance of X when a current of 0.4 A flows through it?

3. Figure 4.1(a) shows a filament light bulb labeled 240 V, 100 W. Figure 4.1(b) shows a graph of potential difference against current for two materials, P and Q. One of the materials will be chosen as filament in a bulb.

Based on the graph in Figure 4.1(b), compare the resistance of materials P and Q. Choose the more suitable material to be used as filament bulb. Explain your choice.