Home - Education Resources - Science of NDT - Electricity

THE SERIES CIRCUIT

After reading this section you will be able to do the following:

• Define a series circuit, and list the components needed to make it.
• Construct a simple and complex series circuit.
• Define what a load is.

Try building this simple series circuit

In the interactive box (applet) below, you will need to place the correct circuit components (i.e. battery, light bulb, etc.) on the correct diagram symbol by dragging them with your mouse.

Congratulations! You have just built an electric circuit. Notice that when you close the switch to complete the electrical circuit, the electrons start moving and the ammeter indicates that there is current flowing in this circuit. Also notice that the light bulb begins to glow. This happens because the electrons moving through the tiny wires in the bulb (or filament) make them become so hot that they glow. If there is any air inside the light bulb, the filament wires will burn up.

What you have just created is something called a series circuit. This is called a series circuit because there is only one path for the electrons to take between any two points in this circuit. In other words, the components, which are the battery, the switch, the ammeter, and light, are all in series with each other.