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Electric Circuits. Electric Circuits. When a wire is connected to the terminals of a source, a complete path called a CIRCUIT is formed An electric circuit provides a complete, closed path for an electric current. Parts of a Circuit. Voltage/energy Source Wires/conductors Closed circuit

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Electric Circuits

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electric circuits1
Electric Circuits
  • When a wire is connected to the terminals of a source, a complete path called a CIRCUIT is formed
  • An electric circuit provides a complete, closed path for an electric current
parts of a circuit
Parts of a Circuit
  • Voltage/energy Source
  • Wires/conductors
  • Closed circuit

May also include:

  • Resistors
  • Switches
circuit diagrams schematics






Circuit Diagrams (schematics)
series circuits
Series Circuits
  • There is only one path for the electrons to take
  • If one part of the circuit opens, the whole circuit goes out.
rules for solving series circuits

RTotal= R1 + R2 + R3 + …

  • Current is the same everywhere in the circuit.

I = V / RT

  • Voltage drop across each resistor device is current x resistance. V (drop) = I x R
  • Voltage thru battery is sum of voltage drops in circuit. VT = V1 + V2 + V3…
Rules for solving series circuits

2 ohms

3 volts

6 V

3 ohms

4 ohms

parallel circuits
Parallel Circuits
  • There are separate branches to the circuit
  • If there is a break in a parallel circuit, electrons can still move through the other branches
parallel circuits1

Separate conductive paths for each bulb /resistor connected to the voltage source

  • Any break in a branch, current stops in THAT branch ONLY. Current continues in the other branches.
Parallel Circuits
rules for solving parallel circuits

1/RTotal = 1/R1 + 1/R2 + 1/R3 + …

  • Total Voltage = voltage across each branch
  • Vtotal = V1 = V2 = V3 …
  • I total = I1 + I2 + I3… (sum of I in all branches)
Rules for solving Parallel circuits

3 volts

2 ohms

6 V

3 ohms

4 ohms

2 ohms

2 ohms

2 ohms

pop goes the fuse
Pop goes the Fuse!!
  • Fuses protect against too much current flowing at once
  • Inside each fuse is a small strip of metal
  • If the current becomes too high, the strip of metal melts and breaks the flow of electricity

When a fuse is blown, a small piece of metal melts if the current becomes too high.

  • This causes a break in the circuit, thus stopping the flow of current through the overloaded circuit.
  • Circuit breakers have a piece of metal that bends instead of melting and can be reset by changing it back to the on position.
electric circuits2


    • The current has only one loop to flow through.
    • Flashlights and some holiday lights
    • Amount of current is the same everywhere.
    • When any part of a series circuit is disconnected, no current flows through the circuit (open circuit).
  • Parallel:
    • Contain two or more branches for current to move through.
    • The current splits up to flow through the different branches.
    • Voltage difference is the same in each branch.
    • More current flows through the branches with lower resistance
Electric Circuits: