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To determine Series Vs Parallel Circuits

  1. Oct 30, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Can any1 teach me how to determine whether something(say resistor) is in series or parallel connection to each other,especially for those complex circuits???
    Sometime the circuits given can be very very complex or weird that i couldn't figure out the answers!:grumpy:
    Is there some ways or laws for this??
    Any respond will be much appreciated!!:smile:

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2010 #2


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    When two elements are connected in series, they're connected at one point and nothing else is connected to that point. That means all the current going through one element has to go through the other element as well.

    When elements are connected in parallel, they are connected to the same two nodes in the circuit. This means that the voltage drop across the elements are all the same.

    One thing to keep in mind is circuit elements can be connected in a way so that they are neither in series nor in parallel. Also, it's often a good idea to redraw complicated circuits so that it becomes clearer what the relationship of the elements are.
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