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Study Guide

Variable Potential Divider WITH LOAD

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The word "load" in the title means any component which takes a current from the potential divider (in this experiment, the loads are resistors).

Using the circuit shown above, adjust the rheostat so that the voltage across S and B is 2 volts.

Connect a 10k W resistor across S and B. Note the reading of the voltmeter when this resistor is connected. (Note that the maximum resistance of the rheostat is 500k W; a 10kW resistor is very small compared with this.)


This shows that the voltage given by a potential divider circuit in not stable, it varies depending on what is connected to it. As the current taken from a potential divider increases, the voltage decreases.

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