## 2008-10-14

### Series and Parallel Circuits

Series and Parallel Circuits

Difference between series and parallel circuits

When a simple series circuit is connected, a single pathway is formed through which current flows. All the electrons must flow through this single path. On the other hand, a parallel circuit forms branches, each of which is a separate path for the flow of electrons. Both series and parallel have their own distinctive characteristics.

Series Circuit
In a series circuit, when one of the bulbs or one of the wires is left open or is broken, the entire circuit ceases to function because there is no other path for the current to take. The break opens the circuit. So if one light bulb goes off, all other bulbs go off as well. Some decorative string lights are of this type, and you have to search and replace the defective bulb when it does not function. In addition, the light bulbs in a series circuit become dimmer as more bulbs are added because the added resistance decreases the current in the circuit.

Parallel circuit

It is designed so that is one branch is defective, the flow of electricity of the other branches will not be disrupted. When branches are added to the circuit, more paths are created for the current to flow. The current in the initial branches is unaffected by the addition. The brightness of the light bulbs in a parallel circuit remains the same even when you add more lights. Switches can be used in each branch of a parallel circuit so that certain components can be turned on and off without affecting the others. This is why parallel circuits are found in most household electrical wiring. Your lights will not go off just because you switched off your TV.