# What is the difference between an parallel circuit and an series circuit?

Relevance
• In series circuits, all the elements (resistors, inductors, etc) have the same current. In parallel circuits, all the elements have the same voltage.

• Simply put: a parallel circuit has a common voltage across it and a series circuit has a common current through it. The math follows:

Series (common current): o--ww--ww--ww--o each ww = R a resistance. So when there is a voltage V from post to post (o), the common current is i = V/(R + R + R) = 1/3 V/R. i is flowing through each of the three R's.

Parallel (common voltage):

====o====

ww ww ww

====o====

Now where there is a voltage V from post to post, each R has the same V across it. And the current through each R is V/R = i; so that the current for the entire circuit is I = V/R + V/R + V/R = 3i. Same voltage and same resistors, but three times the total current than the series circuit.

Also note, if an R burns out in the series circuit, the circuit is opened; so there will be no current flowing. But if an R burns out on the parallel circuit, current can still flow through the remaining two good R's.

• The main difference between series and parallel circuits is that, in series circuits, all components are connected in series so that they all share the same current whereas, in parallel circuits, components are connected in parallel so that they all have the same potential difference between them.

• salimata3 weeks agoReport