• Support PF! Buy your school textbooks, materials and every day products Here!

Circuit with 2 components. Series or Parallel?

  • Thread starter Dalkiel
  • Start date
  • #1
9
0

Homework Statement


Say I have a circuit with only 2 components, a battery and a capacitor. Is this circuit considered series or parallel? What about a charged capacitor and an uncharged one? Does the fact I have an oscilloscope connected to the capacitor to read the voltage across it affect this answer?


Homework Equations





The Attempt at a Solution


I can see arguments for either answer being valid. For the first scenario, it makes sense to say series because there is only one route for current to flow, but the potential difference across both the battery and the capacitor are the same, which is part of the definition of a parallel circuit. In the second situation I know the answer is that the two capacitors are in parallel even though there is only one path for current to follow, justifying the use of the same potential difference for the logic. Which would then make the first situation a parallel circuit. I'm just not sure if I've thought it out correctly.

Scenario 1:
http://ic.sunysb.edu/class/phy121pk/Lab2CapacPHY134TypoCorrectSw1fromFig1.png [Broken]
Scenario 2:
fetch.php?cache=&media=phy142:labs:parallelposition2.png

Homework Statement





Homework Equations





The Attempt at a Solution

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
gneill
Mentor
20,792
2,770
Yes, for just two components whether they are taken to be in parallel or series depends upon how you view the circuit or what you're measuring. Depending upon the analysis you want to do, one point of view or the other may make life easier, but both ways are valid.
 
  • #3
9
0
Thanks!
 

Related Threads on Circuit with 2 components. Series or Parallel?

  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
5K
Replies
1
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
5
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
602
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
6
Views
2K
Top