## What Is a Series Circuit?

A series circuit is a circuit in which the components are connected in a single loop. This means that the current flows through each component in turn. The total resistance of a series circuit is equal to the sum of the resistances of the individual components. The diagram below shows a simple series circuit consisting of a battery, a switch, and two resistors. When the switch is closed, current flows from the battery through the resistors and back to the battery. The total resistance of this circuit is 10 ohms, which is the sum of the resistances of the two resistors (5 ohms each).### Image:

A simple series circuit. ## What Is a Parallel Circuit? A parallel circuit is a circuit in which the components are connected in parallel branches. This means that the current can flow through each branch independently. The total resistance of a parallel circuit is less than the resistance of any of the individual branches. The diagram below shows a simple parallel circuit consisting of a battery, a switch, and two resistors. When the switch is closed, current flows from the battery through one resistor or the other, or both. The total resistance of this circuit is 2.5 ohms, which is less than the resistance of either resistor (5 ohms each).### Image:

A simple parallel circuit. ## Comparing Series and Parallel Circuits The following table compares the characteristics of series and parallel circuits: | Characteristic | Series Circuit | Parallel Circuit | |---|---|---| | Components connected | In a single loop | In parallel branches | | Current flow | Through each component in turn | Through each branch independently | | Total resistance | Equal to the sum of the resistances of the individual components | Less than the resistance of any of the individual components | | Voltage drop | The same across each component | Varies depending on the resistance of the branch | | Power dissipated | The same in each component | Varies depending on the resistance of the branch | ## Applications of Series and Parallel Circuits Series and parallel circuits are used in a variety of applications. Some common applications include: *### Electrical lighting:

In a typical home, the light bulbs are connected in parallel so that if one bulb burns out, the others will still work. *### Car audio systems:

The speakers in a car audio system are typically connected in parallel so that they can all play at the same volume. *### Computers:

The components inside a computer are connected in a combination of series and parallel circuits. ## Conclusion Series and parallel circuits are two basic types of electrical circuits. The characteristics of these circuits are different, and they are used in different applications. Understanding the difference between series and parallel circuits is essential for understanding basic electrical circuits. ## References * [Electrical Circuits](https://www.khanacademy.org/science/physics/electricity-and-magnetism/circuits/a/electrical-circuits) * [Series and Parallel Circuits](https://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/circuits/Lesson-5/Series-and-Parallel-Circuits)Series And Parallel Circuits

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