Series and parallel circuits

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Two types of electrical circuits are the series circuit, and the parallel circuit.

Series Circuit[change | change source]

This is an example of a series circuit. In this picture, we see the current flowing from a power source, directly into three loads, and then back into the power source.

In a series circuit, the electrical current is only able to flow around a single path. The current will flow from a power source, such as a battery, into one or more electrical loads, such as a light bulb, and then back to the power source. In a series circuit, the same amount of amperage from the power source flows through each load. The Voltage in a series circuit is divided up across all of the loads. If one of the loads on a series circuit stops working, the current will not be able to flow through the rest of the circuit, and the rest of the loads will also stop working.

Parallel circuit[change | change source]

This is an example of a parallel circuit. In this image, we see three resistors connected to a power source in parallel.

In a parallel circuit, the electrical current may flow along more than one path before returning to the power source. The Voltage in a parallel circuit is the same across all of the loads in the circuit. In a parallel circuit, the amperage is divided up across all of the loads. If one of the loads in a parallel circuit stops working, the other loads in parallel will be able to continue to work.