# How to determine if electrical components are connected in parallel or in series?

• kirito
kirito
Homework Statement
trying to understand circuits
Relevant Equations
V=IR
I tried to name the point where the potential is the same and follow them, if two components are connected from one end only they are in series else in parallel, but when the shape of the circuit is a bit complicated like this , I struggle to reshape it into something that can clearly state if they are in parallel or in series
for example I built the following circuit on a website

if my simplification for now is correct 2 of the resistor are in series the other 2 are also in series and the R_eq of them is in parallel yet I can't figure out how to continue to understand the batteries configuration
I simplified like this then got stuck

I named the points originally c a b on the middle wire c d b upper c w b on the lower one

Last edited:
As you see, not all circuits are simply components connected in series and/or parallel connections. Another well-known configuration is a bridge circuit. I refer you to the link that shows the analysis of this circuit.

In addition to Kirchoff's laws, there is another technique that is very useful in handling unusual configurations that is not taught in introductory circuit analysis. When you have a voltage source in a branch you can move it through a node into connecting branches without changing the characteristic of the circuit as shown below.

gleem said:
As you see, not all circuits are simply components connected in series and/or parallel connections. Another well-known configuration is a bridge circuit. I refer you to the link that shows the analysis of this circuit.

In addition to Kirchoff's laws, there is another technique that is very useful in handling unusual configurations that is not taught in introductory circuit analysis. When you have a voltage source in a branch you can move it through a node into connecting branches without changing the characteristic of the circuit as shown below.
View attachment 348218
thank you I will go and read about it,this seems to be what I need to understand what is going on here , I will return with an update of what I get

gleem said:
In addition to Kirchoff's laws, there is another technique that is very useful in handling unusual configurations that is not taught in introductory circuit analysis. When you have a voltage source in a branch you can move it through a node into connecting branches without changing the characteristic of the circuit as shown below.
View attachment 348218
HUH ??? those two circuits are not even remotely the same.

phinds said:
those two circuits are not even remotely the same.
The currents through the resistors and voltage drops across them do not change.

DaveE
gleem said:
As you see, not all circuits are simply components connected in series and/or parallel connections. Another well-known configuration is a bridge circuit. I refer you to the link that shows the analysis of this circuit.

In addition to Kirchoff's laws, there is another technique that is very useful in handling unusual configurations that is not taught in introductory circuit analysis. When you have a voltage source in a branch you can move it through a node into connecting branches without changing the characteristic of the circuit as shown below.
View attachment 348218
Yes, but be careful to rename things that have been redefined. In this case node N is changed.

gleem said:
The currents through the resistors and voltage drops across them do not change.
My bad. I see it now.

As an example of its application, it makes the analysis of the Wheatstone Bridge balance condition simple.

@gleem I read the link and watched a couple of videos on this , I tried to do the trick of placing the battery at the node in the wires
I want to check 2 things regarding the batteries orientation and value when using such trick ,
If I write potential is zero before the battery and an after , its still an until I reach a component such as a resistor right or something else ?
so since the difference in potential at the node and before the resistor it is the same as when the battery was there in its original orientation from + to - I can place it in the wire , yet if I just place the battery there the potential in the second wire would differ,
so I have to add the same battery to the second wire with the same orientation to preserve the conditions of the system ?
so the battery is the same as the original battery both in value and direction just a different way to view the problem ,
secondly when I tried to substitute the battery at the nodes I got the following configuration resistor battery battery resistor first wire , battery battery second wire , resistor battery batter resistor third wire and in the second wire after first battery and before the second I added an empty wire connecting to the upper and to the lower one ,now I am trying to solve using the new configuration by choosing a current and voltage yet there are a lot of labels so I said I better check before continuing the calculations

I'm not following you. Here is how it should be done reducing the original circuit into four simple circuits.

EDIT: The wires crossing are still connected.

SammyS and kirito
gleem said:
I'm not following you. Here is how it should be done reducing the original circuit into four simple circuits.
View attachment 348233
EDIT: The wires crossing are still connected.
I only moved the the ones in the middle line vertically up and down I did not reach such simplification , ,I also moved the same battery and named the upper ones v3 v3 and lower ones v4 v4 and assuming the potential is the same as it was before instead of the possibility of It changing I only got the part of leaving the wires there right

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