Cells in series and parallel

  1. Cells in series and parallel....

    How is emf effected by having cells in series and parallel? I would have thought that for both you would just add the emfs of each cell up, since in both ways you arrange them you are just increasing the attraction/ repulsion experianced by the elctrons in wire.

    Thanks in advance. :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,044
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    [tex]E_{series} = \sum_i E_i [/tex]

    [tex]E_{parallel} = max(E_i, ~i=1..n) [/tex]
  4. But is there a proof for this, either mathematically or in terms of visualised physics?

    Surely, each of the cells is going to "push/ pull" the elctrons round ciruit with certain force - why will there arrangement make any difference?
  5. My understanding of it, although probably very flawed :tongue: , is that if they are in series, think of the batteries working together, once some electrons are pushed along by one, the other pushes even more, and in parallel, there is an equal path for the electrons to go, so they seperate and act as a cell with the same volage, but the 2 will have a higher capacity now, because each is drawing half the current, unless the voltages for the cells are different, then it will short. I still need to get a better idea of what voltage physically is myself :uhh: My EE instructor doesn't care for the science behind the engineering, so I can blame him for my lack of understanding :wink:
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