# Why Won't the Lightbulb Light Up?

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1. Mar 24, 2015

### minimario

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
Will the light bulb light up?

2. Relevant equations

N/A

3. The attempt at a solution

Why won't it light up? I see a path from the - to the +!

2. Mar 24, 2015

### Aceix

There will be no effective voltage setup across the light.

3. Mar 24, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

It's a trick question. Once the battery explodes and catches on fire, there will be nothing to power the light...

@minimario -- Why will the battery explode? (That's a hint for the answer for this question...)

4. Mar 24, 2015

### Aceix

why will it explode?

5. Mar 24, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

Let the OP answer first. It's his/her schoolwork question...

6. Mar 24, 2015

### minimario

:/ idk hard

7. Mar 24, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

Draw a simple schematic to represent how the clipleads are connected between the 2 terminals of the battery and the 2 terminals of the light bulb. How should they normally be connected? How are they connected in the drawing?

8. Mar 24, 2015

### minimario

9. Mar 24, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

Which word did you not understand?

10. Mar 24, 2015

### minimario

I don't know how they are normally connected :/ (Should be positive to negative, or wat)

11. Mar 24, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

Are you saying that you don't know how to connect wires from the terminals of a battery to the terminals of a light bulb to make the light bulb light up?

Chet

12. Mar 24, 2015

### minimario

Connect one to the positive side, and one to the negative side

13. Mar 24, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

Excellent. But in your picture, both wires from the battery are connected to the same terminal of the light bulb.

Chet

14. Mar 24, 2015

### minimario

Why are both wires connected to the same terminal?

15. Mar 24, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

Because, in the scenario for your problem, someone connected them incorrectly. Do you think that, if the wires from the battery were connected in the manner shown in the figure, the light bulb will light?

Chet

16. Mar 25, 2015

### Aceix

PM?

17. Mar 25, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

The drawing is unclear, unfortunately. This makes it ambiguous. You (and I) are seeing it differently to how the artist intended.

That's why berkeman set you the task back in post #7 of drawing a couple of sketches: they will help you to arrive at the explanation yourself, without needing to rely on others.

If you go on to study in the sciences this sort of ambiguity will crop up all too often, so you need to develop techniques for acknowledging the different interpretations and deciding which is likely the intended one. It's a little exercise in mind-reading!

18. Mar 25, 2015

### DaveC426913

Really? Where is there ambiguity?

19. Mar 25, 2015

### CWatters

+1 to that.

20. Mar 25, 2015

Done!