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Electricity and Magnetism
Aim: to observe the effect of the Internal Resistance of a Battery
See, Internal Resistance of a Battery
 
Download worksheet as pdf
 
The two connectors on a battery are called its terminals so, when we measure the voltage of a battery, we often say we are measuring the terminal potential difference of the battery.
 
Method
To show the effect of the internal resistance of a battery, measure its terminal potential difference under different conditions, as shown below.
 
We will assume that the voltmeter in these circuits has infinite (or very high) resistance.
Measure the voltage of the battery when it is not supplying any current.
The terminal potential difference measured under these circumstances is called the emf, E, of the battery
Connect one bulb (or something similar) to the same battery and measure its voltage when current is flowing through it.
Note the current flowing and the new voltmeter reading.
Repeat the measurements with two identical bulbs (or whatever) connected to the same battery.
Note the current flowing and the new voltmeter reading.
You might be surprised to notice that the current flowing in this case is not twice as much as in the previous case... but then again maybe you're not surprised...
 
See also, Experiment to Measure the Internal Resistance of a Battery
 
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