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Series Circuits

Series Circuits

Series Circuits

Here we look at what a series circuit is and why it's also known as an "all or nothing" circuit. We also look at how current, voltage and resistance are shared across the circuit components.

There are different types of electrical circuits. Which of the following options do you think are correct examples?

You can select multiple answers

True or false? In a series circuit, the current can choose which pathway it follows.

In a series circuit, does the current necessarily flow through every component in the circuit?


This is a series circuit.

In a series circuit there is only one pathway for the current to flow through, so all the current flows through every component.

If you measure the current at different points around a series circuit, what would you expect to see?


In this circuit, what would you expect the current readings to be on A1 and A2?

A) The same B) Different

Answer A or B.


In a series circuit the current is the same at every point in the circuit.

So the current reading on A1 will be the same as the current reading on A2.

Is the potential difference across each component the same in a series circuit?


The total potential difference is produced by the battery, and the supply is shared between various components.

Remember, potential difference is never lost!


Total potential difference is ____________ the potential difference of each component added together.

A) the same as B) more than C) less than

Answer A, B or C.


The potential difference of all the components in a circuit is equal to the total potential difference produced by the battery.


Is the resistance the same at all points in a circuit?

The total resistance in a circuit is just the resistance of the different components added together. This can be shown by Rtotal=R1+R2+...R_{total}=R1+R2+... for the total number of components in a series circuit.

If a component in a series circuit stops working or becomes disconnected, what happens to the rest of the circuit?

A series circuit is known as an "all or nothing" circuit. This is because all of the current flows through all of the components around the circuit. That means that if just one component breaks or becomes disconnected, none of the current can flow around the circuit!