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Linear and Non-Linear Resistance Lab


1. To become familiar with the use of the laboratory DC voltage supply and the use of a Digital Multimeter (DMM) to measure voltage and current.

2. To learn how to plot I-V characteristics of a linear and nonlinear resistance.

1. Digital Multimeter (DMM), 2 required
2. DC Power Supply
3. Resistors: 470 ohm, 1000 ohm, 2200 ohm
4. Incandescent Lamp


1. Select a 470 ohm, 1000 ohm, and a 2200 ohm resistor. Measure and record the value of each resistor with a DMM.

2. For the circuit of Figure 1, calculate and record I = V/R for 0V, 2V, 4V, 6V, 8V, and 10V for the 470 ohm resistor.

Figure 1: Simple Series Circuit

3. Construct the circuit and adjust the voltage control of the power supply, E, such that the voltage across R measures each voltage listed in step 2. Create a table on a separate sheet and record the voltage. Measure and record I for each of these steps in the table. How do the calculated values of I compare to the measured values? Determine percent error for each measurement and include in your table.

4. Replace the 470 ohm resistor with the 1000 ohm resistor and repeat steps 2 and 3 above. Create a separate table.

5. Replace the 1000 ohm resistor with a 2200 ohm resistor and repeat steps 2 and 3 above. Create a separate table.

6. Replace the 2200 ohm resistor with an incandescent lamp and repeat step 3. Since no predictions were made, the percent error calculation is not necessary.

7. Plot the measured data points for the 470, 1000 and 2200 ohm resistors with I on the vertical axis, and V on the horizontal axis. Draw a straight line that best fits each of the data sets.

8. Calculate resistance = 1 / slope for each of the straight lines drawn in step 7. Compare the calculated value with the value measured in step 1.

9. Plot the measured data points for the incandescent lamp with I on the vertical axis and V on the horizontal axis. How does this plot compare to the resistor plots?

Electrical Engineering lab key words: linear resistance, non-linear resistance, resistance characteristics, Ohm's Law, DMM, resistor, DC voltage supply, digital multimeter measurements, DC circuit analysis, electronics experiment.

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