Question
Mon April 30, 2012 By:
 

Why should the resistance of : a)an ammeter be very small? b)a voltmeter be very large?

Expert Reply
Tue May 01, 2012
An ammeter has to measure to current flowing through the circuit. Resistance offers an obstruction to the current flow. So, if the resistance of an ammeter is large , the current measured by the ammeter will be quite less as compared to the actual amount of current flowing through the circuit which is undesirable. If ammeter has zero resistance , then it will give the exact value of current. But this is not practically possible because every material has some value of internal resistance which we can't control. For this reason , ammeter must have small resistance
 
Voltmeters are put in parallel with the load in order to measure the potential differencebetween two *different* points. 
If they are in parallel with the load, then at the first junction the current will split and flow into both paths (Kirchhoff's Laws). However, if current is flowing through the voltmeter, then it is not all flowing through the load, and the potential difference across the load would change when the voltmeter is added and removed. This is unfavourable. Therefore, the voltmeter must have a very high resistance so that current doesn't flow through it. 
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