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Series Circuit

Series Circuit

Series Circuit is a kind of circuit in which the components are connected end to end. This means that the end of one component is connected to the end of the other. The component can be resistor, capacitor, inductor or batteries. We will see all of them one by one but before that we will see the characteristics of a Series Circuit.

Series Circuit

Characteristic of a Series Circuit:

We will see in terms of voltage and current along with the components. For simplicity, we will consider resistors here.


In a series circuit, the current through all the elements connected is the same. The reason is that in the series circuit there is only one path for the current and whole current flows through it. The current is the same through all the components whether their values are different or the same. Consider the following picture,

Series Circuit of Resistors

Consider the current flowing from the positive terminal of the battery to the negative terminal. The current has only one path to flow and the same current flows through all the resistors. The value of the current depends on the equivalent resistance of resistors. We will see this effect of equivalent resistance on the magnitude of the current.


In a series circuit, the voltage is divided between the components. Hence the sum of the voltage of individual components is equal to the applied voltage. The voltage drop at an individual resistor depends on its resistance. According to Ohms Law,


V = Voltage of the resistor

I = Current flowing through the resistor

R = Resistance offered by the resistor

Hence the voltage is directly proportional to the resistance, the higher the resistance higher will be the voltage across the resistor. Consider the following picture,

Series Circuit of Resistors

The voltage ‘V’ is divided between the resistors. Therefore,

 Equivalent Resistance:

The equivalent resistance of resistors in a series circuit can be found easily by adding the resistance of all resistors, i.e.,

Consider the following picture,

Series Circuit of Resistors

The equivalent resistance of the above circuit will be,

Effect of Equivalent Resistance:

The magnitude of the current flowing in the circuit depends on the equivalent resistance of the circuit. According to Ohm’s Law,

It means higher the equivalent resistance, lower will be the current.

Series Circuit of Inductors:

The equivalent inductance of inductors in series can be similarly found as resistors in series i.e. we need to add all the inductances to get the equivalent inductance.

Consider the following picture,

Series Circuit of Inductors

Where inductances are in mH (milli Henry). i.e.

The equivalent inductance will be,

Series Circuit of Capacitors:

The equivalent of tje capacitors in series can be given as,

Consider the following circuit,

Series Circuit of Capacitors

Where capacitance is in μF (micro Farad),

The equivalent capacitance of the circuit can be found as,

Series Circuit of Batteries:

If we connect batteries in series, then the total voltage will be the sum of the individual voltage of batteries.

Consider the following picture,

Series Circuit of Batteries

The batteries are connected in series, the total voltage will be,

The total voltage of this arrangement will be 40V.

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