Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Don't Let it Catch on Fire!

      On my first try on the simulation, my battery and switch caught on fire.  This is because the negative part of my light bulbs were not connected to any part of the wires.  A DC circuit must be connected by wires to the positive and negative sides of the battery. 

      The picture on the right resembles a typical series circuit.  It involves three light bulbs, a battery, and a switch.  In a series circuit, the current is the same throughout the wires.  All of the light bulbs in a series circuit have the same amount of voltage.  If one light bulb is unscrewed, they all turn off.

The picture on the right resembles the typical parallel circuit.  There are three parallel wires, each with a light bulb, and a battery.  The current through each wire is the same.  The voltage through each wire depends on the resistance of the light bulb.  If one light bulb were unscrewed, the others would still be on.

The picture on the right resembles a typical complex circuit.  It involves a parallel circuit and a series circuit.  The resistance is the equivalent resistance of the parallel circuit plus the resistance of the lone light bulb in the series.  The voltage of the series circuit bulb is greater than a light bulb in the parallel circuit.