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How to Exploring Electric Circuits Using a Water Analogy, Water circuits provide an excellent comparison to simple electric circuits, but few students have experience with fluid dynamics. This lab allows a hands-on investigation of water flow: including current, pressure and resistance, in series and parallel arrangements, which can be related to electric current, potential and electric resistance. Objectives: • Students will gain a powerful analogy to help understand electric circuits, including flowrate?current and pressure?voltage. Water circuits provide an excellent analogy to simple DC electric circuits. The following chart outlines the circuit analogy. In general, the results from the water circuit qualitatively match analogous experiments that can be performed with an electric circuit. In many cases the quantitative match will also be good. Water circuits provide an excellent analogy to simple electric circuits. The purpose of this lab is to get a “feel” for how electricity behaves by observing water flow through circuits that you create. First, you will step through a few guided exercises to “get your feet wet” and learn some basics. Set up the Reservoir (Ground) and Pump (Battery). Flow rate (Current) in a Series Circuit. Set up circuit. Holding the open ends of the resistors over the reservoir, turn on the pump and work out the bubbles.
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