# Junction Rule not applying

## Homework Statement

In my lab today, I created a circuit with resistor (R1) in series with a set of resistors in parallel (R2//R3).

Using an ammeter, I measured:
I1 = 2.30mA
I2 = 1.25mA
I3 = 0.38mA

## Homework Equations

Junction Rule: ΣI = 0

## The Attempt at a Solution

So applying the Junction Rule, I1 = I2 + I3
However, with what I've measured, 12+13 does not add up to I1. What could cause this "loss" of charge? To me, this doesn't make sense, as this violates the idea of conservation of charge. How can charge just disappear like such, after the parallel connection converges?

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berkeman
Mentor

## Homework Statement

In my lab today, I created a circuit with resistor (R1) in series with a set of resistors in parallel (R2//R3).

Using an ammeter, I measured:
I1 = 2.30mA
I2 = 1.25mA
I3 = 0.38mA

## Homework Equations

Junction Rule: ΣI = 0

## The Attempt at a Solution

So applying the Junction Rule, I1 = I2 + I3
However, with what I've measured, 12+13 does not add up to I1. What could cause this "loss" of charge? To me, this doesn't make sense, as this violates the idea of conservation of charge. How can charge just disappear like such, after the parallel connection converges?
Can you show your setup? Remember that a DVM in current measuring mode has an internal shunt resistance that cannot always be ignored...

Can you show your setup? Remember that a DVM in current measuring mode has an internal shunt resistance that cannot always be ignored...
I have just added an image of my set-up in the original post.

berkeman
Mentor
I have just added an image of my set-up in the original post.
Did you really have 6 DVMs running at the same time doing simultaneous monitoring? Or did you have one DVM in voltage mode and one DVM in current mode that you were moving around? What was the actual test procedure? haruspex
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• berkeman
gneill
Mentor
It would be of interest to know the component values (so that we can compare your measured values to theoretical ones). What were the values of the resistors?

berkeman
Mentor
Did you really have 6 DVMs running at the same time doing simultaneous monitoring? Or did you have one DVM in voltage mode and one DVM in current mode that you were moving around? What was the actual test procedure? Also, do you see a difference in how you measured the voltage across R1 versus how you handled R2 and R3? NascentOxygen
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
You used a 2 volt supply....so the resistors were around 50 to 150 ohms.

One thing that might or might not be relevant here, but cheap power supplies can drift with time. So it's possible that what started off as 2.0 volts may have been a different value by the time you took your final current measurement. It is a wise precaution to constantly monitor voltage sources if you are not assured of their stability; an unnoticed drift in supply voltage can result in hours of wasted time, and needless frustration!

Did you really have 6 DVMs running at the same time doing simultaneous monitoring? Or did you have one DVM in voltage mode and one DVM in current mode that you were moving around? What was the actual test procedure? Exactly to the latter procedure -- I measured each resistor's current and voltage individually. How would that affect the current though?

cnh1995
Homework Helper
Gold Member
I measured each resistor's current and voltage individually
Did the voltages add up to 2V?

berkeman
Mentor
Exactly to the latter procedure -- I measured each resistor's current and voltage individually. How would that affect the current though?
Can you respond to the other comments and questions in this thread? You have been given some great hints and advice... 