Difference between series circuit and parallel circuit

There are many ways to set up an electrical circuit. Electronics devices such as resistors, transistors, switches, diode, are components place and positioned in a circuit structure. The placement of such components is crucial to the operation of the circuits because different kinds of setup create a different kind of output or results. Two of the simplest electronics or electrical circuit connections are called a series and parallel circuits. These two are the most basic setup of all circuits, but significantly different from each other.


Series circuits :

Generally, a series circuit has the same amount of current flow through all the components placed inline called the series because of the fact that the components are in the same single path of the current flow. 

In series circuits : 

Vt = V1 + V2 + V3 +........

It = I1 =I2 = I3 =.......

Rt = R1 + R2 + R3 +.......

Where, Vt = Total circuit voltage

V1, V2 and V3 = Voltage in each component
It = Total current
I1, I2, I3 = Current across each components 
Rt = Total resistance
R1 = R2 = R3 = Resistance value of each components


Parallel circuits : 

Generally, the parallel circuit has the same amount of voltage flow through all the components placed parallel called parallel circuits. The components are wired in separate loops. This circuit divides the current flow and ultimately combines the current flowing through each component to form the current flowing in the source.

In parallel circuits :

Vt = V1 = V2 =V3.....

It = V ( 1/R1 + 1/R2 + 1/R3 ).....

1/Rt = 1/R1 + 1/R2 + 1/R3 +......


Main Difference : 

In a series circuits, the same amount of current flow through each of the components, and the voltage across the circuit is also the same of the voltages across each component. The voltage across each component is the same in a parallel circuit, and the total current is the sum of the currents across each component.

Now let we check it out some other difference between them one by one listed below. 


Difference :

  • Series circuit is an element we said to be connected if they are connected in cascade fashion called end to end, one after the other. If the finish point of the one element is connected to the start point of the next element and so on just like the links in the chain  while in parallel the element is said to be connected in  parallel if they are connected across each other one end of each element is bunched together to form one junction and the remaining end of each element is bunched together to form one junction and the remaining end of each element is bunched together to form the other junction. 
  • Each resistor in the circuit is not directly connected to supply in series circuits while in parallel circuits resistors are connected in end to end and directly connected to supply. 
  • There is only one path through which current flow in series circuits whereas in parallel circuits, the current is divided because there are many paths through which current flows. 
  • In the series circuits, the sum of the total voltage drop across resistors is equal to emf source whereas the current supply by the battery is equal to the sum of all current flow across each resistor in the circuit in parallel circuits. 
  • The value of equivalent resistance is larger than the value of the largest resistor connected in series circuits in case of a series circuit and the value of equivalent resistance is lesser than the value of smallest resistors connected in parallel circuits. 
  • If any resistor burns out in the series whole circuits will be disconnected from the supply while the current is not interrupted in parallel circuits if any resistor damage.

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