Monday, January 31, 2011

Parallel and Series Circuits

   A Series Circuit has more than one resistor, or something that uses electricity. It gets its name from having only one path for the charges to move along. The resistors share the same amount of electrons, but split voltage. They equally get the same amount of voltage. If a resistor is broken then no charge will be able to go through because there is no alternative route. Old christmas lights are series circuits because if one bulb goes out, the whole string won't work. 

   A Parallel circuit differs from a Series. Unlike the series circuit, it has multiple paths for the electrons to travel along. The electrons have a choice to go through any of the paths. In a parallel circuit, electrons split up and choose the "path of least resistance". They share the same voltage. Parallel circuits are found most homes. This is so when you turn something off everything doesn't go off. 

   A current carrying conductor generates a magnetic field. When hen this is then placed in an external magnetic field, it will experience a force proportional to the current in the conductor, and to the strength of the external magnetic field. As you are well aware of from playing with magnets as a kid, opposite (North and South) polarities attract, while like polarities (North and North, South and South) repel. The internal configuration of a DC motor is designed to harness the magnetic interaction between a current-carrying conductor and an external magnetic field to generate rotational motion.