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Create a circuit that includes a sensor, which in turn will enable me to measure the volume of liquid in a container by reading the voltage from a voltmeter.

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Introduction

Planning Aim: The aim of this investigation is to create a circuit that includes a sensor, which in turn will enable me to measure the volume of liquid in a container by reading the voltage from a voltmeter. Plan: 1. I could use many methods to pick up a change in water level in a container. I could use a rotary potentiometer and attach it to a metal rod, then fix a cork to the metal rod, which will be used as the float that will rise with water level. I will need to use a potential divider in the circuit in order to pick up the changes in resistance, which will cause the voltage to rise or fall. 2. I could also use a length of wire, which, as it becomes immersed in water causes changes in its conductance and therefore changes in its resistance and the voltage across the circuit. I am going to use a rotary potentiometer for my investigation. [No.1] Apparatus: 6v dry cell battery pack Voltmeter Rotary Potentiometer Wires Container for water Cork Copper Rod Fixed Resistor Retort Stand Clamp & Boss Preliminary Tests: I carried out some preliminary tests with my apparatus in order to try and find the best setup for my main experiment. I tested how much water to use - because if I used under 600ml the cork wouldn't float. ...read more.

Middle

The potentiometer will be connected to a dry cell battery pack and a fixed resistor, which will be changed to achieve the 4 different resistances I will be using, connected across the fixed resistor will be a voltmeter that will be used to take the results. Circuit Diagram [Fig.3]: [Fig.4] Safety: I will be using an electrical circuit in my investigation, which will be in close contact with water, so I will need to make sure that they do not come into contact with each other, even though the current flowing through the circuit will be very small. I will also be using a 500ml glass measuring jug and therefore will have to be careful not to smash it, and make sure if it does smash that I clear up all the glass fragments straight away. Results Table: No.1: No.2: No.3: Average: Graphs: The graph is plotted using the average of the three sets of results. The results tables showed a few anomalous results, however these seemed to have been ironed out when the average set of results were taken. The graph shows the general trends that were expected. As the resistance was decreased for each test the voltage rose and therefore the height of the graph increased but retained the same pattern of peaks, this shows that the change in voltage is proportional to the resistance of the fixed resistor. ...read more.

Conclusion

metal to attach the crocodile clips to, these also bent very easily and if they touched the voltmeter would obviously read zero. Perhaps the potentiometer had slightly too a high friction to be very reliable when it was being moved by the cork floating on water. Evaluation: I think my results were reliable, however there were a few anomalous results before the average readings were taken. This leads me to believe that the majority of results are reliable. I could improve the experiment by, using a new or larger dry cell batteries so that it removes the possibility that the anomalous results were caused by the batteries running flat. I could also check the results and redo the experiments more than once to achieve a more reliable set of results. Furthermore any of the components may not have been functioning properly. I could also take into account things like rounding up and the accuracy of the voltmeter. If the reading on the voltmeter is changing a lot then it is hard to get a reliable reading and therefore the overall trend of the graphs and the results table could be affected, this could explain the reason why the voltage peaked before the last of the water was added and then fell again at the end. Overall I would say that the results are reliable although perhaps a more sensitive rotary potentiometer would be better. ...read more.

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