Series and parallel connections are two alternative combinations used to reduce the flow of current in an electrical device. Both of these combinations have the same function but different structures. Because of their different structure, the amount of resistance in both combinations may vary. To understand the difference between both of these combinations, let us first understand what resistance is.
An overview of Resistance and Resistor
Every electrical device experiences a flow of electric current. Electric current is the flow of charged electrons that are moving through the device. Resistance is a property that determines how much current will flow in an electrical device. In other words, resistance is the ability of a conductor to restrict the flow of electric current. Resistors are the tools used to increase resistance in a particular circuit. Now let us understand how resistors can be placed in a circuit.
Series and Parallel connection of Resistors
An electrical device has a limit up to which it can carry electric current. Electrical devices may get damaged when the flow of current inside them passes such a limit. Therefore we use resistors to prevent any damage. An electric circuit may be designed using a series connection or parallel connection to control the flow of current.
In a series connection, resistors are arranged in a series. In a series circuit, there is only one path through which current can flow. Current flows through every resistor in such a circuit. Therefore if you were to calculate the total resistance of the circuit, you need to sum up the individual resistance at different points.
A parallel circuit has two or more than two paths. In such a circuit, the electric current splits when it reaches the point where different paths of the circuit split. It must be noted that the electric current in each part adds up before the current reaches the other end.
There are several key differences between both these circuits. In a series circuit, the current flowing through the circuit remains the same at each component. While in a parallel circuit, the current passing through each resistor is different. Also in a parallel circuit, resistors are arranged parallel to each other. Series circuits have resistors set up in a series. Another notable difference between both these circuits is that voltage in a parallel circuit is the same at every component. To understand more differences between series and parallel circuits Project Bot offers a cool DIY project which can help you learn more about these circuits.
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