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Ch 9: Series, Parallel & Combined Circuits

About This Chapter

Study series, parallel and combined circuits with these fun online physics lessons and quizzes. The chapter offers you a simple and effective way to study circuit fundamentals for upcoming physics exams, class projects and homework assignments.

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

10 Lessons in Chapter 9: Series, Parallel & Combined Circuits
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Electric Current? - Definition, Unit & Types

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.

Electrical Resistance: Definition, Unit & Variables

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.

What is Electric Power?

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.

Ohm's Law: Definition & Relationship Between Voltage, Current & Resistance

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.

Series Circuit: Calculating Voltage Drops with Ohm's Law

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.

Parallel Circuits: Calculating Currents with Ohm's Law

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.

Ohm's Law Formula & Circuit Calculation Practice

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.

Finding the Equivalent Resistance: Series, Parallel & Combination Circuits

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.

Energy Transfers in Circuits: Equations & Examples

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.

Applying Kirchhoff's Rules: Examples & Problems

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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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