How to Build a Series Circuit

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In a series circuit, there is only one single path that the electricity can make. Learn about how a single line should pass through every component of a series circuit without interruption with help from a science teacher in this free video on series circuits.

Part of the Video Series: Physics Help
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Steve Jones and I'm going to explain how to build a series circuit. First of all, let's look at some of the components we would use. Typically in the circuit, we have a cell or a battery which is a group of cells. We have a lamp of some kind, a light bulb. And, obviously, we'd have a switch. These are the main components that we find in our electric circuits. Now, a series circuit is quite simple. Remember that on every component there are two terminals. Here you've got a positive and a negative one on the cell. This, actually, is the positive and this is the negative. The case is negative. On the lamp you've got a terminal at the bottom of the little pointer at the bottom, and the actual screw thread is the other terminal. So there are two terminals, terminal one and terminal two. In the switch, well, it's difficult to see the workings, but basically you've got two terminals, one coming out at each end, and that is represented in this way. In a series circuit, there is just one single path which the electricity can make. It goes, if you trace it 'round, it goes 'round one single track, and if I draw a single line it should pass every single component in the circuit without interruption. I don't have to go over anywhere twice to get to the circuit. So what I do, is I connect one side of one component to the next component. The other side of that, then, to the next component. The other side of that, then, to the final side of the first component I started with. So that is how to build a series circuit.

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