# 21.4 Dc voltmeters and ammeters  (Page 4/13)

 Page 4 / 13

There are practical limits to galvanometer sensitivity, but it is possible to get analog meters that make measurements accurate to a few percent. Note that the inaccuracy comes from altering the circuit, not from a fault in the meter.

## Connections: limits to knowledge

Making a measurement alters the system being measured in a manner that produces uncertainty in the measurement. For macroscopic systems, such as the circuits discussed in this module, the alteration can usually be made negligibly small, but it cannot be eliminated entirely. For submicroscopic systems, such as atoms, nuclei, and smaller particles, measurement alters the system in a manner that cannot be made arbitrarily small. This actually limits knowledge of the system—even limiting what nature can know about itself. We shall see profound implications of this when the Heisenberg uncertainty principle is discussed in the modules on quantum mechanics.

There is another measurement technique based on drawing no current at all and, hence, not altering the circuit at all. These are called null measurements and are the topic of Null Measurements . Digital meters that employ solid-state electronics and null measurements can attain accuracies of one part in ${\text{10}}^{6}$ .

Digital meters are able to detect smaller currents than analog meters employing galvanometers. How does this explain their ability to measure voltage and current more accurately than analog meters?

Since digital meters require less current than analog meters, they alter the circuit less than analog meters. Their resistance as a voltmeter can be far greater than an analog meter, and their resistance as an ammeter can be far less than an analog meter. Consult [link] and [link] and their discussion in the text.

## Phet explorations: circuit construction kit (dc only), virtual lab

Stimulate a neuron and monitor what happens. Pause, rewind, and move forward in time in order to observe the ions as they move across the neuron membrane.

## Section summary

• Voltmeters measure voltage, and ammeters measure current.
• A voltmeter is placed in parallel with the voltage source to receive full voltage and must have a large resistance to limit its effect on the circuit.
• An ammeter is placed in series to get the full current flowing through a branch and must have a small resistance to limit its effect on the circuit.
• Both can be based on the combination of a resistor and a galvanometer, a device that gives an analog reading of current.
• Standard voltmeters and ammeters alter the circuit being measured and are thus limited in accuracy.

## Conceptual questions

Why should you not connect an ammeter directly across a voltage source as shown in [link] ? (Note that script E in the figure stands for emf.)

Suppose you are using a multimeter (one designed to measure a range of voltages, currents, and resistances) to measure current in a circuit and you inadvertently leave it in a voltmeter mode. What effect will the meter have on the circuit? What would happen if you were measuring voltage but accidentally put the meter in the ammeter mode?

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Emmanuel
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no that because u have moved no distance. for work to be performed a force needs to be applied and a distance needs to be moved
Emmanuel
Different between fundamental unit and derived unit
fundamental unit are independent quantities that do not depend on any other unit while derived unit are quantities that depend on two or more units for it definition
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Shawty
are you there
Shawty
Shawty
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vectors are quantities that have numerical value or magnitude and direction.
what is regelation
vector is any quantity that has magnitude and direction
Emmanuel
Physics is a physical science that deals with the study of matter in relation to energy
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Jimoh
hello
Salaudeen
hello
Yes
Maxamuud
hi everyone
what is physics
physics is a physical science that deals with the study of matter in relation to energy
Osayuwa
a15kg powerexerted by the foresafter 3second
what is displacement
movement in a direction
Jason
hello
Hosea
Hey
Smart
haider
Explain why magnetic damping might not be effective on an object made of several thin conducting layers separated by insulation? can someone please explain this i need it for my final exam
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saeid
hi
Yimam
Hi
Jimoh
An object made of several thin conducting layers separated by insulation may not be affected by magnetic damping because the eddy current produced in each layer due to induction will be very small and the opposing magnetic flux produced by the eddy currents will be very small
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while
Hosea
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this is the mass of an atom of an element in ratio with the mass of carbon-atom
Chukwuka
show me how to get the accuracies of the values of the resistors for the two circuits i.e for series and parallel sides
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tell me
Promise
what's the s . i unit for couple?
Promise
its s.i unit is Nm
Covenant
Force×perpendicular distance N×m=Nm
Oluwakayode
İt iş diffucult to have idêal machine because of FRİCTİON definitely reduce thê efficiency
Oluwakayode
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if the classica theory of specific heat is valid,what would be the thermal energy of one kmol of copper at the debye temperature (for copper is 340k)