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WHEATSTONE BRIDGE

User Manual

WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
INTRODUCTION
Measurement of resistance has become one of the most important necessities in industries of
modern time. And so for this purpose, many techniques have been introduced now a days.
One of such method for measurement of resistance is the wheatstone bridge method. This
bridge is used for the measurement of medium resistances that normally range from 5S
upwards to 100KS.
WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
The wheatstone bridge as mentioned above is used for the measurement of medium
resistances. This bridge is used for making comparison measurements and operates on the
null indication principle. i.e., at balanced condition, the meter when connected across the two
arms of the bridge, other than the power supply arms, shows zero or null. This means the
indication is independent of the calibration of the null indicating instrument or any of its
characteristics. The circuit of a basic Wheatstone bridge is as shown below.

It has four resistance arms, consisting of resistances P,Q,R and S together with a source of
emf and a null indicator which is usually a galvanometer. The current through the
galvanometer depends on the potential difference between points 'c' and 'd' . The bridge is
said to be balanced when there is no current through the galvanometer or when the potential
difference across the galvanometer is zero. This occurs when the voltage from point 'b' to
point 'a' equals the voltage from point 'd' to point 'b' or when the voltage from point 'd' to
point 'c' equals the voltage from point 'b' to point 'c'.

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WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
Therefore for bridge balance,
(1)

And for galvanometer current to be zero, the following condition also exist.

(2)

(3)

E = Emf of the input supply


Combining

1, 2, 3, we obtain

Where 'R' is the unknown resistance and the other arms consist of ratio and standard arms.
The bridge sensitivity decreases considerably if the ratio P/Q = R/S is greater or smaller than
unity. This reduction in sensitivity is accompanied by a reduction in accuracy with which a
bridge can be balanced.

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WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
LIMITATIONS OF WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
The Wheatstone bridge is limited to the measurement of resistance ranging from a few ohm
to several megohm. The upper limit is set by the reduction in sensitivity to unbalance caused
by high resistance values. The upper limit can be extended to a certain extent by increasing
the emf applied to the bridge but in this case care has to be taken to avoid overheating of any
arm of the bridge. Inaccuracy may also be introduced an account of leakage over insulation of
the bridge arms when measuring very high resistances. The lower limit for measurement is
set by the resistance of the connecting leads and by contact resistance at the binding posts.
The error caused by leads may be corrected fairly well, but contact resistance presents a
source of uncertainty that is difficult to overcome. The lower limit for accurate measurement
is in the neighbourhood of 1 to 5 ohm.

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WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
FRONT PANEL DIAGRAM

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WHEATSTONE BRIDGE

VWB - 01

CONNECTION DIAGRAM

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WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
EXPERIMENT
AIM
To find the unknown value of resistance using a Wheatstone bridge
REQUIREMENT
1. VWB - 01 Trainer Kit
2. Patch Chords
3. Decade Resistance box (or) Resistances
4. Multimeter
FORMULA USED

PROCEDURE
1. Connections are made as per the connection diagram
2. Connect the decade resistance box at Rx terminals. ( or ) Connect the resistance to be
measured at Rx terminals.
3. Now switch on the unit and vary the resistance at R1 and R3 to get the nearest point
of balance.
4. Now vary R2 to get exact point of balance.
5. Switch off the unit and remove the patchings at R2
6. Now measure the resistance at R2 by using multimeter.
7. Tabulate the readings and find the value of unknown resistance.

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WHEATSTONE BRIDGE

VWB - 01

TABULATION
S. No

R1
(Ohms)

R2
(Ohms)

R3
(Ohms)

Rx
(Practical)

Rx
(Theoretical)

RESULT
Thus the value of unknown resistance was measured using a wheatstone bridge.

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