Direct Current

Batteries and Bulbs

Seat Experiment

One common circuit is the flashlight. We will build a simple circuit using a battery, light bulb, and a wire. Connect the battery, bulb, and  wire in four different ways so the bulb lights. 

Hint: start by connecting the wire to the bulb by wrapping one exposed end of the wire around the threads of the bulb. Hold the other end of the wire to the bottom or negative end of the battery.

Now touch the bottom tip of
 the bulb to the positive end of the battery.

Try to construct three other complete circuits.

Q1:  Draw four different arrangements to light the bulb as both drawings and schematics. 
Q2: What are the common characteristics of all of your bulb-lighting arrangements (also called 'circuits')?

Q3: In your own words describe the path of a single electron if it is given enough time to move through your circuit. 

Q4: In your own words describe the electrical potential of a single electron as it moves completely around your circuit. How much potential must the electron lose as it returns to its original location?

Q5: Using a diagram and your own words, describe how an incandescent light bulb works.


McDermott, L.C. (1996). Physics by Inquiry, John Wiley and Sons: New York. PAGE???

Seat Activities