# Practice with series & parallel

1. Jul 26, 2014

### Zondrina

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

Trying to get better at spotting these.

Determine whether or not the capacitors shown in the following diagrams are in series or parallel with one another:

http://gyazo.com/0c8193dde670f92520e1453c7d1bd6af

2. Relevant equations

3. The attempt at a solution

(a) It appears that $C_1$ is parallel with $C_2$, and $C_1$ is in series with $C_3$. It also appears that $C_2$ is in series with $C_3$.

(b) $C_3$ appears to be in series with $C_2$ and $C_1$. Also, $C_2$ and $C_1$ are parallel.

(c) It looks like $C_1$ and $C_2$ are parallel, while $C_3$ is in series with both of them.

(d) It looks like $C_1$ is in series with $C_2$ and $C_3$, while $C_2$ and $C_3$ are parallel.

Does this sound reasonable?

2. Jul 26, 2014

### Nathanael

I don't have experience with this, so there's a good chance I'm wrong

To me, it looks like $C_1$ and $C_2$ are both in series with $C_3$, while $C_1$ and $C_2$ are in parallel

Sorry if I'm wrong

3. Jul 26, 2014

### CWatters

C1 is in parallel with C2. The combination of C1 and C2 is in series with C3. You can't say C1 or C2 on their own is in series with C3.

This is similar to a). C1 is in parallel with C2. The combination of C1 and C2 is in series with C3. You can't say C1 or C2 on their own is in series with C3.

Circuit c) appears identical to b).

Circuit d) appears identical to a).

4. Jul 26, 2014

### Zondrina

(c) $C_1$ and $C_2$ are in parallel with their combination in series with $C_3$.

(d) $C_1$ and $C_2$ are parallel (same V), and their combination is in series with $C_3$.

Thank you for the clarification. Didn't know if I could single circuit components out like that or not, but now everything is clear.

5. Jul 27, 2014

### ehild

Two components of a circuit are series if they have one pair of terminals in common, and nothing else is connected to the common terminal.

Two components are parallel if they have two common terminals and the common terminals join to the other parts of a circuit.

In cases a) and b) C1 is connected to C3 so they have a pair of terminals in common, but C3 also joins to that common terminal. So C1 and C3 are not connected in series.

ehild

6. Jul 27, 2014

### phinds

All of these circuits are effectively identical. A single capacitor in series with a power source and a pair of parallel capacitors in series with the single capacitor.

7. Jul 27, 2014

### SammyS

Staff Emeritus

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