About This Chapter
Series, Parallel & Combined Circuits - Chapter Summary
You're in the right place if you need to quickly review the basics of series, parallel and combined circuits. Inside this chapter, you'll find short and simple lessons that explore concepts like electric current, resistance and power, as well as Ohm's law, energy transfer and Kirchhoff's rules. The chapter is entirely self paced, and we encourage you to take the accompanying self-assessment quizzes to make sure you fully understand the material. Our instructors are available to answer any questions you may have, and, by the end of the chapter, you should be equipped to:
- Compare different types of electric currents
- Define electrical resistance and electric power
- Summarize Ohm's law and its formula
- Explain basic concepts related to series and parallel circuits
- Use Ohm's law to calculate series circuit voltage drops and parallel circuit currents
- Describe energy flow and transfer in electronic devices
- Find equivalent resistance in several circuit types
- Evaluate examples of energy transfers in circuits
- Apply Kirchhoff's rules to solve physics problems
1. What is Electric Current? - Definition, Unit & Types
Like a river current is the flow of water molecules, electrical current is the flow of charged particles. In this lesson, we're going to explore what electrical current is, what causes it, and that, unlike a water current, electrical current doesn't always flow in one direction.
2. Electrical Resistance: Definition, Unit & Variables
We'll take a shopping trip to the mall to learn how electrical resistance works and how it is affected by resistivity, conductor dimensions, and temperature. We'll also take a look at several common appliances that take advantage of resistance to function.
3. What is Electric Power?
Power is a word we use all the time, but do you really know what it means? We'll look at how electrical power relates to voltage, current and resistance and how knowing that relationship can help you in everyday life.
4. Ohm's Law: Definition & Relationship Between Voltage, Current & Resistance
Did you know that electrical current is affected by the voltage and resistance in a circuit? In this lesson, we'll use Ohm's law, which tells us how current, voltage, and resistance are related, as we work through several electric circuit examples.
5. Series Circuit: Calculating Voltage Drops with Ohm's Law
Series circuits only have one path for current to flow. In this lesson, we'll investigate series circuits and how to use Ohm's law to calculate voltage drops across resistors in a circuit.
6. Parallel Circuits: Calculating Currents with Ohm's Law
In parallel circuits, current has more than one path to take. Whenever it comes to a junction, it either splits into multiple currents or combines into one current. In this lesson, we will learn how to determine current in loops of parallel circuits.
7. Ohm's Law Formula & Circuit Calculation Practice
Circuits can have various combinations of resistors. In this lesson, we will tackle a combination circuit using Ohm's law and Kirchhoff's rules to determine amperage, voltage, and resistance.
8. Finding the Equivalent Resistance: Series, Parallel & Combination Circuits
How does resistance impact the way that electrical currents flow through a circuit That's what we are exploring in this lesson. We'll check out resistance in the three main kinds of circuits and practice calculating this value.
9. Energy Transfers in Circuits: Equations & Examples
In a circuit, energy is always being transformed from electrical energy into other forms, like light and thermal energy. In this lesson, learn how energy is transformed and how to calculate exactly how much energy is transformed in a circuit.
10. Applying Kirchhoff's Rules: Examples & Problems
Ohm's Law can be useful for analyzing simple circuits, but when circuits are more complex, as they often are, we can instead analyze the circuits using Kirchhoff's rules. Learn about Kirchhoff's rules in this lesson.
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Other chapters within the Physics 112: Physics II course
- Energy Transfers in Physics
- Heat Transfer & Interaction
- The Basics of Thermodynamics
- Ideal Gas Law & Kinetic Theory
- Light & Electromagnetic Waves
- Mirrors & Lenses in Geometric Optics
- Basics of Electrostatics
- Magnetism Basics
- Capacitors, Inductors & Alternating Current
- Modern Quantum Theory
- Basic Nuclear Physics
- General & Special Relativity
- Studying for Physics 112