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Vocabulary words and important facts from Chapter 35: Electric Circuits from the Prentice Hall Conceptual Physics textbook. Big Idea: Any path along which electrons can flow is an electric circuit. Note: some of the definitions/terms may vary from those that appear in the book. The ones that do not correspond with the textbook were found in a packet I received in class.


a complete path

How can a circuit achieve a continuous flow of electrons?

For a continuous flow of electrons, there must be a complete circuit with no gaps.

series circuit

a circuit in which devices are arranged so that charge flows through each in turn

What happens to current in other lamps if one lamp in a series circuit burns out?

If one device fails in a series circuit, current in the whole circuit ceases and none of the devices will work.

parallel circuit

a circuit in which each electrical device is connected to the same two points of the circuit

What happens if one device in a parallel circuit fails?

In a parallel circuit, each device operates independent of the other devices. A break in any one path does not interrupt the flow of charge in the other paths.

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