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Homework Help: Conceptual Question about Equivalent Resistance

  1. Mar 25, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I don't quite understand how to read circuit diagrams, so I'm not sure how to find the equivalent resistance in some cases.

    What is the equivalent resistance of circuits A and B?

    I drew a picture to help me explain what I'm talking about:

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I know circuit B is definitely in parallel, so the equivalent resistance is 1/R = 1/R1 + 1/R2.

    But is circuit A in parallel, too? I think it is but I'm not 100 % sure.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 25, 2009 #2

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    Homework Helper

    You are correct -- the two circuits are absolutely equivalent. It does not matter how you draw the resistance R2 as long as it is there somewhere between the two points where the wires from R2 join the wire containing R1.

    "Parallel" does not mean that the resistances have to be literally parallel.
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