Series and Parallel Connections

In summary, the current through two series components is the same, while the voltage across two parallel components is the same. However, this does not mean that the voltage is the same for both resistances in a series circuit, or that the current is equal for parallel resistances. By combining these rules with Ohm's law, the voltages and currents for series and parallel circuits can be calculated.
  • #1
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Homework Statement


I'm a little confused, in a series and parallel circuit, does it make sense if i say that the current through 2 separate resistors is the same but the potential difference is different and also is the amount of potential energy lost?? It's this that's getting me confused with the concept..



Homework Equations





The Attempt at a Solution

 
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  • #2
lha08 said:

Homework Statement


I'm a little confused, in a series and parallel circuit, does it make sense if i say that the current through 2 separate resistors is the same but the potential difference is different and also is the amount of potential energy lost?? It's this that's getting me confused with the concept..



Homework Equations





The Attempt at a Solution


The current through two series components is the same. The voltage across two parallel components is the same.
 
  • #3
berkeman said:
The current through two series components is the same. The voltage across two parallel components is the same.

But for the series, does that mean that the voltage is the same for both resistances?
And for the parallel one, if the voltage is the same, does that make the current equal as well?
 
  • #4
lha08 said:
But for the series, does that mean that the voltage is the same for both resistances?
And for the parallel one, if the voltage is the same, does that make the current equal as well?

No and no. If you combine the two rules mentioned by Berkeman with ohms law you can work out what the voltages are for series resistances with a known total voltage across them, or you can work out the currents for parallel resistances with a known total current going through them.
 

1. What is the difference between series and parallel connections?

Series connections are when components are connected in a single path, with the same current flowing through each one. Parallel connections are when components are connected in multiple paths, with the total current splitting and flowing through each component.

2. Which type of connection is better for voltage regulation?

Parallel connections are better for voltage regulation because the total voltage remains the same across each component in the circuit.

3. How do I calculate the total resistance in a series or parallel circuit?

In a series circuit, the total resistance is equal to the sum of each individual resistance. In a parallel circuit, the total resistance is equal to the reciprocal of the sum of the reciprocals of each individual resistance.

4. Can I mix series and parallel connections in a circuit?

Yes, it is common to have a combination of series and parallel connections in a circuit. This allows for both voltage regulation and current distribution.

5. What happens if one component fails in a series or parallel circuit?

In a series circuit, if one component fails, the entire circuit will stop working. In a parallel circuit, if one component fails, the others will continue to function as the total current is split among them.

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