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I 1 R 1 = I 2 R 3 . size 12{I rSub { size 8{1} } R rSub { size 8{1} } =I rSub { size 8{2} } R rSub { size 8{3} } } {}

Again, since b and d are at the same potential, the IR size 12{ ital "IR"} {} drop along dc must equal the IR size 12{ ital "IR"} {} drop along bc. Thus,

I 1 R 2 = I 2 R x . size 12{I rSub { size 8{1} } R rSub { size 8{2} } =I rSub { size 8{2} } R rSub { size 8{x} } } {}

Taking the ratio of these last two expressions gives

I 1 R 1 I 1 R 2 = I 2 R 3 I 2 R x . size 12{ { {I rSub { size 8{1} } R rSub { size 8{1} } } over {I rSub { size 8{1} } R rSub { size 8{2} } } } = { {I rSub { size 8{2} } R rSub { size 8{3} } } over {I rSub { size 8{2} } R rSub { size 8{x} } } } } {}

Canceling the currents and solving for R x yields

R x = R 3 R 2 R 1 . size 12{R rSub { size 8{x} } =R rSub { size 8{3} } { {R rSub { size 8{2} } } over {R rSub { size 8{1} } } } } {}
This complex circuit diagram shows a galvanometer connected in the center arm of a Wheatstone bridge arrangement. All the other four arms have a resistor. The bridge is connected to a cell of e m f script E and internal resistance r.
The Wheatstone bridge is used to calculate unknown resistances. The variable resistance R 3 size 12{R rSub { size 8{3} } } {} is adjusted until the galvanometer reads zero with the switch closed. This simplifies the circuit, allowing R x size 12{R rSub { size 8{x} } } {} to be calculated based on the IR size 12{ ital "IR"} {} drops as discussed in the text.

This equation is used to calculate the unknown resistance when current through the galvanometer is zero. This method can be very accurate (often to four significant digits), but it is limited by two factors. First, it is not possible to get the current through the galvanometer to be exactly zero. Second, there are always uncertainties in R 1 size 12{R rSub { size 8{1} } } {} , R 2 size 12{R rSub { size 8{2} } } {} , and R 3 size 12{R rSub { size 8{3} } } {} , which contribute to the uncertainty in R x size 12{R rSub { size 8{x} } } {} .

Identify other factors that might limit the accuracy of null measurements. Would the use of a digital device that is more sensitive than a galvanometer improve the accuracy of null measurements?

One factor would be resistance in the wires and connections in a null measurement. These are impossible to make zero, and they can change over time. Another factor would be temperature variations in resistance, which can be reduced but not completely eliminated by choice of material. Digital devices sensitive to smaller currents than analog devices do improve the accuracy of null measurements because they allow you to get the current closer to zero.

Section summary

  • Null measurement techniques achieve greater accuracy by balancing a circuit so that no current flows through the measuring device.
  • One such device, for determining voltage, is a potentiometer.
  • Another null measurement device, for determining resistance, is the Wheatstone bridge.
  • Other physical quantities can also be measured with null measurement techniques.

Conceptual questions

Why can a null measurement be more accurate than one using standard voltmeters and ammeters? What factors limit the accuracy of null measurements?

If a potentiometer is used to measure cell emfs on the order of a few volts, why is it most accurate for the standard emf s size 12{"emf" rSub { size 8{s} } } {} to be the same order of magnitude and the resistances to be in the range of a few ohms?

Problem exercises

What is the emf x size 12{"emf" rSub { size 8{x} } } {} of a cell being measured in a potentiometer, if the standard cell’s emf is 12.0 V and the potentiometer balances for R x = 5 . 000 Ω size 12{R rSub { size 8{x} } =5 "." "000" %OMEGA } {} and R s = 2 . 500 Ω size 12{R rSub { size 8{s} } =2 "." "500" %OMEGA } {} ?

24.0 V

Calculate the emf x size 12{"emf" rSub { size 8{x} } } {} of a dry cell for which a potentiometer is balanced when R x = 1 . 200 Ω size 12{R rSub { size 8{x} } =1 "." "200" %OMEGA } {} , while an alkaline standard cell with an emf of 1.600 V requires R s = 1 . 247 Ω size 12{R rSub { size 8{s} } =1 "." "247" %OMEGA } {} to balance the potentiometer.

When an unknown resistance R x size 12{R rSub { size 8{x} } } {} is placed in a Wheatstone bridge, it is possible to balance the bridge by adjusting R 3 size 12{R rSub { size 8{3} } } {} to be 2500 Ω size 12{"2500" %OMEGA } {} . What is R x size 12{R rSub { size 8{x} } } {} if R 2 R 1 = 0 . 625 size 12{ { {R rSub { size 8{2} } } over {R rSub { size 8{1} } } } =0 "." "625"} {} ?

1 . 56 k Ω size 12{1 "." "56 k" %OMEGA } {}

To what value must you adjust R 3 size 12{R rSub { size 8{3} } } {} to balance a Wheatstone bridge, if the unknown resistance R x size 12{R rSub { size 8{x} } } {} is 100 Ω size 12{"100" %OMEGA } {} , R 1 size 12{R rSub { size 8{1} } } {} is 50 . 0 Ω size 12{"50" "." 0 %OMEGA } {} , and R 2 size 12{R rSub { size 8{2} } } {} is 175 Ω size 12{"175" %OMEGA } {} ?

(a) What is the unknown emf x size 12{"emf" rSub { size 8{x} } } {} in a potentiometer that balances when R x size 12{R rSub { size 8{x} } } {} is 10 . 0 Ω size 12{"10" "." 0 %OMEGA } {} , and balances when R s size 12{R rSub { size 8{s} } } {} is 15 . 0 Ω size 12{"15" "." 0 %OMEGA } {} for a standard 3.000-V emf? (b) The same emf x size 12{"emf" rSub { size 8{x} } } {} is placed in the same potentiometer, which now balances when R s size 12{R rSub { size 8{s} } } {} is 15 . 0 Ω size 12{"15" "." 0 %OMEGA } {} for a standard emf of 3.100 V. At what resistance R x size 12{R rSub { size 8{x} } } {} will the potentiometer balance?

(a) 2.00 V

(b) 9 . 68 Ω size 12{9 "." "68 " %OMEGA } {}

Suppose you want to measure resistances in the range from 10 . 0 Ω size 12{"10" "." 0 %OMEGA } {} to 10 . 0 kΩ size 12{"10" "." 0" k" %OMEGA } {} using a Wheatstone bridge that has R 2 R 1 = 2 . 000 size 12{ { {R rSub { size 8{2} } } over {R rSub { size 8{1} } } } =2 "." "000"} {} . Over what range should R 3 size 12{R rSub { size 8{3} } } {} be adjustable?

Range = 5 . 00 Ω to 5 . 00 k Ω size 12{"Range=5" "." "00 " %OMEGA " to "5 "." "00"" k" %OMEGA } {}

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
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Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
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Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
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Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
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nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
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absolutely yes
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how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
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it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
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characteristics of micro business
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for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
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SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
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Source:  OpenStax, College physics -- hlca 1104. OpenStax CNX. May 18, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11525/1.1
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