Electrical Circuits: Elements, Types, and Related Concepts

By Robert Hazen, PhD, George Mason University
Light bulb and battery image in a simple open and close circuit.
Simple open and closed electrical circuit design. (Image: BijanStock / Shutterstock)

Electrical circuits are important concepts that apply to our daily lives. It is a very simple concept consisting of three different components: an electric power source, a device and a closed transmission.

Electric power source

The first element in an electrical circuit is the source of electrical energy that allows electrons to move. This source can be a battery, solar cell or hydroelectric plant – where there is a positive terminal and a negative terminal and where the charge flows from one to the other. This voltage is called a voltage measured in volts.

Device in electrical circuit

The second part is the device. He responds to the passing of time. Today, a device is an electrical outlet plugged into a wall socket. The loop is completely closed using a rotating device. It is usually wire, but there are other materials that can close the loop. For example, there are various pieces of metal in the TV that are stored on the plastic floor, which may be a transmission device or, in some cases, a device chassis that is part of a closed circuit.

Electrical circuit resistance

The third component is resistance; Each circuit has a specific resistance to electron flow. Electrons collide with other electrons and atoms that make up the wire, and they convert some of their energy into heat. It is impossible to transfer energy from one form to another without losing heat.

Learn more about electromagnetism.

Flashlight as an electrical circuit

The flashlight is a simple device that includes all three components. The two batteries in the flashlight are the source.

The light bulb at the end of the flashlight is a device that enters the current flow. Current flow in very small threads heated to very high temperatures due to electrical resistance. As a result, the thread shines brighter.

The circuit eventually ends with a piece of metal falling on the side of the flashlight. There is a wire at one end of the flashlight and at the other end for the battery points and the other end of the circuit.

    An example of an electrical circuit that includes a battery, bulb, switch, and wire.
It has a simple electrical circuit source, device, resistance and switch. (Image: BlueRingMedia / Shutterstock)

Switch, fuse and circuit breakers

Flashlights and most other electrical appliances also have a switch. The switch is only a device that can be used to disrupt the next cycle of the lead material.

There is no current flow when the switch is turned on but there is a flow when the switch is turned off. This is how all districts work. Even in a circuit that is connected to the walls of your room, there is a series of wires that run from your home to the generator.

Fuses or circuit breakers are used to prevent major fires due to overload. If the fuse is too high, it is designed to burn.

Learn more about the first law of thermodynamics.

Types of electrical circuits

There are two types of circuits in homes and other common equipment. I.e. serial circuits and parallel circuits.

Series of circuits– A series of circuits consist of several devices, each connected to each other in only one large circuit. Although different devices have different voltage levels on them, the same current passes through each device in the circuit.

If one of the devices in a series is broken, the entire circuit will fail. For example, if there are three bulbs connected in a row, in a wire connected to only one battery. If one bulb is not turned off, the whole circuit will fail.

Parallel circuits – In parallel circuits, different devices are organized to provide rings to identify a source wire. The voltage across each device in the circuit is exactly the same, but generally different devices see different waves. In this case, each device will work even if the other fails.

For example, if two bulbs are connected in parallel and one is not disconnected, the other will work. Modern Christmas tree lights are made in parallel circuits, so even if one light burns, the whole string should not be thrown away.

This is a copy of the video series The joy of science. Watch now on Wondrium.

System connections between electrical circuits – Kirchohoff’s laws

The strategic nature of the circuits is of great importance in electrical engineering and is explained by Kirchoff’s laws. The first rule states: “The source of the energy, along with the energy consumed in the circuit, is the heat generated by the resistance.”

The second law saysThe current flowing to any node is the sum of the current flowing from that node. This means that the current wires flow through the electrons, and the number of electrons entering the junction is equal to the number of electrons coming out of the junction.

Learn more about entropy.

Are different types of electricity basically the same?

Picture by Michael Faraday.
Michael Faraday was an English scientist who contributed to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. (Image: Thomas Phillips / Public Domain)

Michael Faraday carefully conducted all these different types of electricity. He was able to show that all these different types of electricity caused exactly the same event and that they were caused by the movement of electrons.

Faraday All kinds of energy produce flashes, they are poured into wires and made to work. His research also showed for the first time that electric power, animal electricity, battery power and lightning are all one and the same phenomenon.

Electric current and power

The flow or movement of electrons through an electrical circuit is called the electric current. Current is measured in amperes. An ampere corresponds to about 6 billion electrons per second in that circuit.

Another important term related to electricity is power. Power is defined as time-consuming work. Measure the current voltage in watts, in watts. The higher the wattage, the faster the power goes out, be it a light bulb, a magnifier or any other electrical device.

Learn more about magnetism and static electricity.

About common questions Alessandro Volta’s contributions and the invention of the battery

Q: How does the light bulb light up?

When the current flows through a very thin thread, it heats up to a very high temperature Electrical resistance. This allows the cord to burn better and thus, the light bulb in the flashlight.

Q: How do fuses and circuit breakers help?

Fuse and circuit breaker They are designed to protect electrical appliances from overheating. When the fuses need to be replaced after overloading, the circuit breakers must be reset.

Q: What is electrical current?

The flow of electrons in a Electrical cycle The so-called electric current is measured in amperes.

Q: Why is it so futile, even if a light bulb burns in the old Christmas tree light chain?

In ancient times, Christmas tree lights were a Serial circuit type If one bulb does not work, the whole circuit will fail. However, modern Christmas tree lights follow the principle of parallel circuits

Keep reading
How does electricity work?
Benjamin Franklin’s First Life and Success
Photons and wavelengths – Is light a particle or a wave?

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