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SS1: PHYSICS – 3RD TERM

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A circuit is defined as the path followed by current along a conductor. A circuit is a path in which electrons from a voltage or current source flow.

An electric circuit includes a device that gives energy to charged particles constituting the current, such as a battery or a generator, devices that use current such as lamps, electric motor and the connecting wires.

Types of Circuit

Series Circuit

A series circuit is one that has more than one resistor, but only one path through which electricity flows.

series circuit 2

A resistor (bulb) in a circuit is anything that uses some of the power from the cell. When there is a break in any of the resistors, the entire circuit will not function.

Parallel Circuit

In a parallel circuit, there is more than one resistor (bulb) and they are arranged on many paths, which shows that current can flow from one end to the other through many branches e.g.

parallel circuit

Path 1 – ABCF

Path 2 – FCDE


When there is a break in circuit, the other lamp is not affected, likewise the light does not dim because the same voltage flow through the circuit.

Short Circuit

In a short circuit, there is no load along the conducting path. By-passing the load and other components causes the same voltage from the cell to flow to the other end of the cell, the high voltage causes wires to heat up and can cause fire.

short circuit

No Load

A short circuit can cause heating, melting of wires, harmful smoke and smell, and blinding light (during welding)

Open Circuit

This occurs when there is a gap along the conducting path e.g. when the key is open

OPEN circuit

    R = Load

Closed Circuit

This occurs when there is no gap along the conducting path.

Cclosed circuit

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