Electric Circuits
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A voltage or current source, a resistor, a capacitor, and other circuit components are easily connected to form an electric circuit. Different circuits might exist depending on the kind of circuit components used and how they are linked. We shall examine the fundamental varieties of electric circuits in this guide.

Electric Circuit Types: The five primary categories of electrical circuits are closed, open, short, series, and parallel circuits. Let's thoroughly understand and learn by using definitions, illustrations, and symbols. An “electric network” is a grouping of several electrical elements or parts that are connected in some way. A circuit with several electrical components, such as resistors, capacitors, inductors, current sources, and voltage sources, is referred to as a complex network (both AC and DC). Simple Kirchhoff's rules like Ohm's law do not adequately describe these kinds of networks. To put it another way, we use specialized methods like Norton's Theorem, Thevenin's Theorem, Superposition Theorem, etc. to solve these circuits.

What are Electric Circuits?

A network of parts called an electrical circuit is used to store, transmit, and convert energy. A circuit receives energy from one or more sources, and it is removed by one or more sinks. In the sources, energy is changed from its thermal, chemical, electromagnetic, or mechanical form to its electrical form; in the sinks, the process is the opposite. Electrical charge and the medium of magnetic and electric fields are used to transport energy across an electrical circuit. There are many different types of circuits.

Electric circuits are channels for transporting electric current. An electric circuit is made up of a source of energy for the charged particles that make up the current, such as a battery or generator, the equipment that uses the present, like lights, electric motors, or computers, and the connecting wires or transmission lines. Kirchhoff's rules and Ohm's law are two fundamental principles that quantitatively describe the behavior of electric circuits.

Various categories can be used to group electric circuits. A direct-current circuit series Circuit moves current in one direction. An alternating-current circuit transfers currently pulse back and forth several times per second in the majority of home circuits. A series circuit is one in which all components experience the same amount of current flow. In a parallel circuit, the branches divide the current such that only a small fraction flows through each branch. The voltage, or potential difference, between each branch in a parallel circuit is the same, but the currents may vary.

In a typical domestic electrical circuit, each lamp or appliance, for instance, receives the same voltage but uses a different amount of current depending on how much power it needs. A parallel arrangement of equivalent batteries produces a higher current than a single battery while preserving the same voltage.

In a single device, like a radio, an electric circuit is made up of a mixture of transistors, transformers, capacitors, connecting wires, and other electrical components. Such intricate circuits can be composed of one or more branches in a combination of series and series-parallel configurations.

A closed-loop channel that offers a current return path is referred to as a circuit, sometimes known as an electrical circuit. Current can flow through this little conducting tube.

Types of Electric Circuits

Series Circuit

Series Circuit
Series Circuit

There is only one path for electricity to follow in this circuit since all of the electrical components (voltage or current sources, inductors, capacitors, resistors, and so on) are linked in series. A series circuit is made up of several resistances linked in succession. This kind of connection is also known as an end-to-end or cascade connection. Current travels in a single route.

Properties of Series Circuit

The same current can pass through any type of resistance. The supply voltage V is The total of all the voltages that fall across the resistances.


​the comparable electrical resistance is the same as The total of the various resistances. The equivalent resistance outweighs individual resistances. (R > R1, R > R2, …., R > Rn).

Parallel Circuit

Parallel Circuit
Parallel Circuit

There are many paths for electricity to flow along in this circuit since all of the electrical components—voltage or current sources, inductors, capacitors, resistors, and so on—are connected in parallel. The circuit has a minimum of two branches. A parallel circuit is one in which many resistances are linked across one another so that the ends of each resistance are coupled in such a way as to produce a junction at one end and another point at the other.

Properties of Parallel Circuits

All resistances simultaneously share a comparable potential difference. The number of parallel routes equal to the number of resistances is used to split the total current. The aggregate current is always equal to the sum of all the individual currents.


The sum of the reciprocals of the individual resistances makes up the equivalent resistance of a parallel circuit. The analogous resistance is the least of all resistances. (R < R1, R < R2, R < Rn).

Mathematically combining the separate conductances yields the equivalent conductance. The smallest of all parallel resistances is smaller than the comparable resistance.

Series-Parallel Circuit

A circuit that has some circuit components linked in series and others in parallel is referred to as a series-parallel circuit. A circuit that mixes parallel and series circuits is what this is, to put it another way.

Star-Delta Circuit

This circuit is neither parallel nor series nor series-parallel. This circuit's electrical connections make it impossible to categorize it as a series, parallel, or series-parallel design. These circuits can be resolved using the Star-Delta Transform or the Delta-Star Transform.

Below is a list of other circuits that may be generated from series, parallel, and series-parallel circuits:

  • Pure Resistive Circuit
  • Pure Inductive Circuit
  • Pure Capacitive Circuit
  • Resistive, Inductive Circuit i.e. RL Circuit
  • Resistive, Capacitive Circuit i.e. RC Circuit
  • Capacitive, Inductive Circuits i.e. LC Circuits
  • Resistive, Inductive, Capacitive Circuit RLC Circuit

In the circuits above, any of the components or parts indicated above can be linked in a series, parallel, or series-parallel arrangement. Visit this page to view every type of electric circuit in detail.

Before starting to explore an electric circuit or network, let's take a closer look at some other electric circuits that you should be familiar with.

Linear Circuit

Electric circuits having constant resistance, inductance, capacitance, waveform, and frequency are known as linear circuits. In other words, a linear circuit is one whose current and voltage characteristics remain constant.

Non-Linear Circuit

When the parameters change concerning the current and voltage, the circuit is said to be non-linear. A nonlinear circuit, in other words, is one in which the characteristics of the circuit—such as resistance, inductance, capacitance, waveform, frequency, and so on—are not constant.

Unilateral Circuits

When the supply voltage or current changes direction in unilateral circuits, the function of the circuit also changes. A unilateral circuit, in other words, only allows current to flow in one direction. The diode rectifier is the most effective illustration of a unilateral circuit since it does not perform rectification in both supply directions.

Bi-Lateral Circuits

A bi-lateral circuit's attribute remains constant regardless of how the source voltage or current is flowing. In other words, bi-lateral circuits let current flow in both directions. Because the circuit characteristics remain constant regardless of the direction the supply is coming from, a bi-lateral circuit is best described as a transmission line.

Circuit’s Parameters, Constants, and Related Terms

The many parts or elements utilized in electric circuits, such as resistance, capacitance, inductance, frequency, etc., are referred to as circuit parameters or constants. These factors might be distributed or aggregated. The following list of parameters, which might affect each circuit's specification, is summarised:

Active Circuit

A circuit that has one or more EMF (Electro Motive Force) sources is said to be an active circuit.

Passive Circuit

A circuit without any EMF sources is referred to as a passive circuit.

Open Circuit

When there is no path for current to return, the circuit is said to be open (i.e. one that is not completed). In other words, an open circuit has a voltage that is heading toward zero and a current that is heading toward infinity.

When a circuit comprises a broken electrical wire or electronic component, or when the switch is off an open circuit results. In the diagram below, either the switch is off or the electrical wire is damaged, which prevents the bulb from illuminating.

An open circuit has the switch left unlocked and a lightbulb connected to the battery. The open circuit prevents the bulb from lighting.

Short Circuit

A circuit that has a return path for current flow is said to have a short circuit (i.e. completed circuit). A short circuit is a circuit where the current tends to zero and the voltage tends to infinity.

When a voltage source's (+ and -) terminals of a circuit get linked for whatever cause, a short circuit results. The maximum current starts to flow in this situation. When conducting electrical lines are coupled or even when the load is shorted, short circuits can happen.

A short circuit is an electrical connection that has a close switch and a light bulb connected to the battery. The light turns on as a result of the circuit being complete.

Closed Circuit

When a load in a circuit operates independently, it is said to be in a closed circuit. In this scenario, the load establishes the value of the present flow.

Parts of Electric Circuits and Networks & Other Related Terms


The point or junction where two or more circuit components (such as a resistor, capacitor, inductor, etc.) join is referred to as a node.


The portion or part of a circuit that is between two junctions is referred to as a branch. A branch with two ends can be used to connect one or more pieces.


A loop is a closed channel in a circuit that can include more than two meshes; conversely, a mesh can only contain one loop.


Mesh is a closed loop with no other closed loops or routes with no other paths within it.


Basic knowledge about various circuit types is a necessary ability if you want to become a better engineer. We learned what an electric circuit is, the many kinds of electric circuits, and a straightforward diagram illustrating each kind of circuit.

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