Chapter 3

Series and Parallel Networks

John Bird

Figure 3.1 shows three resistors *R*_{1}, *R*_{2} and *R*_{3} connected end to end, i.e., in series, with a battery source of *V* volts. Since the circuit is closed, a current *I* will flow and the voltage across each resistor may be determined from the voltmeter readings *V*_{1}, *V*_{2} and *V*_{3}.

Figure 3.1 : Series circuit

In a series circuit:

(a) the current *I* is the same in all parts of the circuit; therefore, the same reading is found on each of the two ammeters shown, and,

(b) the sum of the voltages *V*_{1}, *V*_{2} and *V*_{3} is equal to the total applied voltage, *V*, i.e.,

From Ohm’s law:

*V*_{1} =*IR*_{1}, *V*_{2} =*IR*_{2}

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