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Series + Parallel

  1. Feb 12, 2007 #1
    I know that this is going to sound like a stupid question, but I was wondering if someone could explain the reasoning behind this question.

    A hanging lamp illuminates a banquet table using 6 light bulbs (120 V). How are the bulbs connected? Series or parallel?

    Any help would be great.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2007 #2
    I think that it would be parallel so that each light receives the same amount of current, but I am not really sure.
  4. Feb 12, 2007 #3
    If they are in series that well each receive the same amount of current since they the current will pass through only one path, that includes all of the bulbs. However, in parallel, each bulb will have the full voltage from the source applied to it.
  5. Feb 12, 2007 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Thread moved to Homework Help forums. Please do not post homework or coursework in the general forums.

    The traditional way that 120V light bulbs are wired is in parallel. Quiz question for the original poster (the OP, dmolson) -- why would you not want to connect all the light bulbs in your house in series?
  6. Feb 12, 2007 #5
    A key factor in a series connection would have to do with a certain additive property of each load on the system.
  7. Feb 14, 2007 #6
    Dmolson, normally any combination of lambs would be connected in parallel, there are two reasons for this:
    first, the outlet of your home gives a constant 120V with varying current (depending on the load), so when you connect several lambs in parallel, you will have a constant voltage drop on all of them and they can take as much current as they want (there is a limit!!), while if you connected them in series, the voltage across the lambs will be divided among them, while having constant current which is not what we wnat, the second reason is that if you connect lambs in series, if one of them goes out, the one's following this lamb will go out too.
  8. Feb 14, 2007 #7
    Electrified lambs are not, to the best of my knowledge, either tasty OR safely cooked... And it's kind of cruel and unusual to the lamb, isn't it! :biggrin:
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