How to Build a Parallel Circuit

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A parallel circuit is slightly more complicated than a series circuit, and a parallel circuit is the circuit that is used in homes. Connect multiple series circuits to the same power supply to create a parallel circuit with help from a science teacher in this free video on parallel 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 parallel circuit. Now a parallel circuit is slightly more complicated than the much simpler series circuit, this is the circuit which we use in our homes. If you look at the components first of all I'm using basic simple low voltage components like a battery or cell. Here we are, positive and negative. Lamp, we've got two terminals, the screw thread and the base, terminal one and terminal two. That's a lamp. And the switch, well the mechanism's inside, because basically it just connects the two sides together with nothing else. So that is the switch, two terminals on it. Now let's have a look at how we actually connect it in to the parallel circuit. Think of a parallel circuit very simply. It is nothing actually but a series of series circuits all connected to the same power supply. So if you think of a series circuit, and connect each series circuit to the same power supply, that is just a parallel circuit. Let me show you what I mean. Here is the first circuit. I start here, I go down to here, I go through this lamp, I go through this switch, through the other switch and back there. That is a series circuit. So that's one of my circuits. Now, if I now with a dotted line, follow my second circuit, you can see that I don't go through that lamp, I go through this lamp, but the dotted line is creating exactly the same circuit. It's another series circuit, the only common thing is that above here we've got a battery and a switch. Below we've got the rest, but everything goes through here. And that is what the difference is between a parallel circuit and a series circuit. But you can see that each of these is a series circuit. The components have to be in series in a circuit. The idea, the word circuit means follow one after the other. But a parallel circuit is a lot of separate series circuits all connected to the same power supply. So that is how to build a parallel circuit.


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