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Investigation to show the Effects of a Filament Bulb in a Circuit.

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Year 10 Physics Investigation

Investigation to show the Effects of a Filament Bulb in a Circuit


Not all objects give a straight line graph. This experiment investigates what happens when another object, a bulb, is added into a circuit. The current will then be measured and we will investigate what happens to the current and resistance when a bulb is added to a circuit including an ammeter, voltmeter, variable resistor, and a cell. The current and resistance will be measured and we will investigate what happens to the current and resistance when more volts are applied into the circuit. I am going to compare the graph below, from a previous experiment, with

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2. I will then connect all the equipment making a parallel circuit.

3. Lastly I am going to record the current that different inputs of voltage give me then calculate the resistance.



If the voltage is increased I predict that it will affect the current by making it rise. Eventually the current will level off because there is a bulb in the circuit. Due to the movement of electrons going through it, the thin wire in the bulb will resist more. The wire has a certain resistance to the current because the greater the resistance, the more voltage is required to push a current through a wire.

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The graph is not a straight line therefore I know that the bulb is a non-ohmic conductor. It doesn’t obey Ohm’s Law.

The metal filament gets hotter as more current flows and so its resistance increases. As shown above, this means that the graph gradually gets flatter.


My prediction was correct. When a bulb is added to a circuit, the current levels off, due to the resistance caused by the electrons getting hotter in the wire filament of the bulb. This also means the resistance increases. When there is no bulb in the circuit the resistance stays the same.

To improve my experiment I could have repeated the experiment to work out average results. By doing this it would make the experiment more accurate by eliminating any mistakes or anomalous results.

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