Electricity: Series and Parallel Circuits
Section: Electricity: Series and Parallel Circuits

Series Circuits: A series circuit is a type of circuit where there is a single pathway for the electric current to flow through. Components are arranged endtoend, forming a chain.
 Characteristics of Series Circuits:
 The total resistance (R) in a series circuit equals the sum of the individual resistances.
 The same current (I) flows through each component in the circuit.
 The total potential difference (V) across the circuit is shared between the components.

Parallel Circuits: Unlike a series circuit, a parallel circuit is divided into two or more independent paths for the electric current to flow through. Each path is called a branch.
 Characteristics of Parallel Circuits:
 Total resistance in a parallel circuit is less than that of the smallest resistance in the circuit.
 Total potential difference across each component is the same, and equals the potential difference across the power source.
 Current is divided between branches in a parallel circuit, so the sum of the currents in each branch equals the total current drawn from the power source.
 Understanding Current and Potential Difference:
 Current (I) refers to the flow of charge. It is measured in Amps (A) and flows from the positive to the negative terminal.
 Potential Difference (V) is the work done per unit charge. It indicates the energy transferred from electrical energy to another form of energy. It is measured in Volts (V).
 Measuring Current and Potential Difference:
 Current is measured using an Ammeter, which is placed in series with the component.
 Potential Difference is measured using a Voltmeter, which is placed in parallel with the component.
 Electrical Power and Energy: Electrical power (P) is the rate at which energy is transferred or converted. It is calculated as P=VI, where V is the potential difference and I is the current. Electrical energy (E) is calculated as E=Pt, where P is power and t is time.
Practice examining different circuits and calculating the total resistance, potential difference and current of both series and parallel circuits to improve your understanding and performance.