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Translations of Encyclopedia about Physics

 

Parallel and Series Connection

All simple electrical circuits can be classified according to one of two groups, depending on how they are connected.

When connected one after another, referred to as a series connection, the electrically connected components are connected in such a way that the output terminal of one component is connected to the input terminal of another component.

In such cases, there are no branch lines and the same current passes through all of the components within the circuit. This type of series connection is the simplest method of putting together an electrical circuit.

The total resistance of this type of connection is the sum of resistance offered by all of the components combined.

Under a parallel connection, all input and output terminals of two or more connected components are connected in such a way so as to create further branching of the electrical circuit. The same voltage is sent to the input terminal of all components, but the current passing through each branch is different depending on how much resistance is offered by the components within each branch. The smaller the resistance within a branch, the greater the current passing through it.

The total resistance of this kind of connection is measured by the total of inverted values of resistance of all electrical conductors within the circuit.

With serial connections, the same amount of current passes through each of the components, in which there may be different amounts of voltage. With parallel connections, however, each component connected within the circuit has the same voltage but different amounts of current may pass through the various branches.

If we consider that one of the branches within a parallel connection may be made up of series connections of electrical components, we realise that the various forms of connections can be quite varied.

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