13. Batteries and Circuit Elements

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Learning Objectives

  • To be able to explain the properties and recognize the symbols for circuit elements.
  • To be able to judge whether the electric potential goes up or down in passing through a circuit element, and why.
  • To be able to calculate the equivalent resistance of resistors in parallel and in series.


Course Notes

Read through the course notes before watching the video.  The  course note files may also contain links to associated animations or interactive simulations. 

Read sections 7.1 through 7.5:
Direct-Current Circuits (PDF)

Lecture Video

Video Excerpts

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Learning Activities

Guided Activities

Read through the class slides. They explain all of the concepts from the module.

Slides (PDF)


Do the Concept Questions first to make sure you understand the main concepts from this module. Then, when you are ready, try the Challenge Problems.

Concept Questions

Concept Questions (PDF)

Solutions (PDF)

Challenge Problems

Challenge Problems (PDF)

Solutions (PDF)

Problem Solving Help

Watch the Problem Solving Help video for insights on how to approach and solve problems related to the concepts in this module.

Problem: Charging and Discharging a Battery

A 12 V battery has a capacity of 60 Amp Hours. It internal resistance is 0.31 Ohm. The battery is charged by passing a 15 Amp current through it for 4 hours. What is the voltage across the terminals of the battery while it is charging? What is the total energy in joules that is supplied during charging? As the battery is being charged, how much of that total energy is dissipated in the internal resistance of the battery. If now the battery is completely discharged through some external resistance at a current of 15 Amps, over a time of 4 hours, what is the external resistance through which it is discharged? How much energy is supplied to this external resistor during the discharge?

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» Internet Archive (MP4 - 20MB)



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