Series & Parallel Circuits

Series Circuit:

Series circuits are sometimes called current-coupled or daisy chain-coupled. The current in a series circuit goes through every component in the circuit. Therefore, all of the components in a series connection carry the same current. There is only one path in a series circuit in which the current can flow.

A series circuit's main disadvantage or advantage, depending on its intended role in a product's overall design, is that because there is only one path in which its current can flow, opening or breaking a series circuit at any point causes the entire circuit to "open" or stop operating. For example, if even one of the light bulbs in an older-style string of Christmas tree lights burns out or is removed, the entire string becomes inoperable until the bulb is replaced.

In a series circuit the current is the same for all elements.

I = I1 =  I= I3 = ..... In

Parallel Circuit:

If two or more components are connected in parallel they have the same potential difference (voltage) across their ends. The potential differences across the components are the same in magnitude, and they also have identical polarities. The same voltage is applicable to all circuit components connected in parallel. The total current is the sum of the currents through the individual components, in accordance with Kirchhoff’s current law.

In a parallel circuit the voltage is the same for all elements.

V = V1 = V2 = V3 = ...... Vn

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