Measured vs Actual Voltages

timer Asked: Apr 30th, 2014
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Question Description

Resistors, r1 and r2, in series with an ideal battery have voltmeter measurements of 2V, 3V, and 6V. What are the actual resistor voltages?

Tutor Answer

James Ding
School: Boston College

Since the battery is ideal, the actual voltages across individual resistors are governed by Ohm's Law. 

Voltage across r1 = V * (r1 / (r1 + r2)) and voltage across r2 =  V * (r2 / (r1 + r2))

This comes out to:

  • 2r1 / (r1+r2) and 2r2 / (r1+r2)
  • 4r1 / (r1+r2) and 4r2 / (r1+r2)
  • 6r1 / (r1+r2) and 6r2 / (r1+r2)

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Good stuff. Would use again.

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