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What is the different between parallel and series circuit?

MIT 6.002 Circuits and Electronics, Spring 2007
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In a series circuit, the circuit elements are connected tail to head. That is to the head of one element, tail of other is connected Like two resistors in series will look like, ------^^^^^----^^^^^--- R1 R2 In a parallel circuit, all tails of elements are connected together and all heads are connected together, like R1 /-----^^^^----\ ----< -----^^^^-----> R2 In case of the series In case of parallel, the current gets divided into the various components, but the potential differece across each point is same. It is like many pipes originating from one point and terminating at another single point, but diffcircuit, the current through all the elements is same as you can see from the figure. It is like one pipe with many controls. So what goes in comes out the same. Potential difference across all elements are different erent paths. Hope this helps!
Other point of view... Think about the current. If the current is the same one that runs all the circuit elements, then you have a serial connection. If the current divides, you have a parallel connection. Series Circuit i --> ------^^^^^----^^^^^---- R1 R2 Parallel Circuit i=i1+i2 i1 i --> R1 i --> |-----^^^^---| --> -----{ }------- |-----^^^^---| --> R2 i2

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