What is an Electric Circuit? How does it Work?

# What is an Electric Circuit? How does it Work?

## Electric Circuits Definition

Electric circuits, like intricate networks of interconnected components, pave the way for the flow of electrons, the fundamental building blocks of electricity. These pathways, fashioned from conductive wires, draw upon the power of an energy source, typically a battery, to set the electrons in motion.

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The journey of electrons begins at the source, the point from which they start on their journey, and culminates at the return, where they bid farewell to the circuit.

## Electric Circuit Experiment to Learn the Concept

Gather the following essential components:

1. Electric bulb
2. Wire
3. Electrical tape
4. A battery

Gently connect the wires to the bulb, ensuring a secure attachment. Touch one end of the wire to the battery. Observe the bulb – it remains dormant. However, upon connecting the free wire to the battery, completing the circuit, a brilliant glow emanates from the bulb. This transformation underscores the necessity of a complete circuit for current to flow.

## How to make a Electric Circuit?

An electric circuit is complete only when an uninterrupted loop connects the positive and negative terminals. This fundamental configuration represents the simplest form of an electric circuit. In contrast, the circuitry within a television, with its intricate array of components, exemplifies a more complex arrangement.

If mishandled, electricity can unleash its lethal force, potentially causing severe injury or even death. Therefore, utmost caution is imperative when handling electrical wires, sockets, and live wires. Additionally, keep them out of reach of children. While a small battery’s voltage typically falls within the safe range of 12 volts, the voltage in a transformer can soar to a daunting 11,000 volts.

## What is a Simple Circuit?

A basic electrical circuit consists of several components, including the power source, conductors, switch, and load.

1. Power Source (Cell): This serves as the energy provider for the circuit.
2. Load (Resistor): Often referred to as the resistor, it takes the form of a light bulb that illuminates when the circuit is activated.
3. Conductors: These are typically copper wires without insulation. One end of the wire is connected from the load to the power source, while the other end links the power source back to the load.
4. Switch: This component introduces a break in the circuit. Various types of switches exist, and they can be employed to either open or close a circuit.

### How to Handle Battery with Caution?

Exercise extreme caution when handling electric batteries. Refrain from directly connecting the battery’s two terminals without a load, such as a bulb. The rapid chemical reaction within the battery can generate immense energy, potentially causing the battery to burst.

## Electric Circuit Formula

Following is the list of formulas that are used in electric circuits are:

 Quantity Formula Current (I) Q/t Resistance (R) ρL/A Voltage (ΔV) ΔE/q Power (P) ΔE/t Total resistance in series circuit (Req) R1 + R2 + R3 + … Total resistance in parallel circuit (Req) 1/R1 + 1/R2 + 1/R3 + …

## Types of Electric Circuits

Many types of electrical circuits are used in our daily lives some of the most common electric circuits are,

1. Open Circuit: An open circuit is an incomplete circuit, lacking a continuous path for electron flow. This can arise from a broken wire, a loose connection, or a switch in the off position.
2. Closed Circuit: A closed circuit, in contrast, provides an unbroken path for electrons to traverse. This configuration allows current to flow and the circuit to function.
3. Short Circuit: A short circuit occurs when an unintended path for electrons emerges, typically due to two unconnected wires touching. This can lead to circuit damage and even fire hazards.
4. Series Circuit: In a series circuit, components are connected in a sequential manner, forcing the current to pass through each component in succession. The current remains constant throughout the circuit.
5. Parallel Circuit: Within a parallel circuit, components are connected on separate branches, allowing current to flow through any branch. The current can divide among the branches, varying depending on their resistance.

These five circuit types form the foundation of electrical systems, powering various devices and appliances. Understanding their distinct properties is crucial for electrical safety and effective circuit design.

## Electrical Circuit Safety Concerns

Research indicates that over 100 individuals lose their lives annually due to electrical shocks in workplaces, with an additional 60 fatalities occurring yearly from electrical shocks related to various power tools and cables. The purpose of highlighting this information is to raise awareness about the essential safety precautions and guidelines that must be adhered to when working with electricity. Dealing with electricity can be highly perilous, and negligence can have fatal consequences. It is not uncommon for individuals to charge their phones, plugged into sockets, and some even choose to use earphones while charging—an act that, over the years, has unfortunately resulted in numerous tragic incidents.

• The Hazards of Faulty Circuits

Faulty electrical circuits pose a significant fire hazard. In the event of an electrical fire, refrain from using water to extinguish the flames, as this can exacerbate the situation. Instead, employ specialized fire extinguishers designed for electrical fires.

• Current Flow Depends on an Uninterrupted Path

The unwavering principle governing electric current dictates that its flow is contingent upon a complete, uninterrupted connection from the battery through the various components and back to the battery. Any disruption in this pathway severs the flow of current.

• Precautions for Electric Circuit Use
1. Quality Wiring: Always utilize high-quality wires with proper insulation and thickness for household wiring.
2. Certified Products: Install plugs, switches, and sockets with ISI marks for improved safety when using electrical appliances.
3. Secure Connections: Ensure that wire connections are tight and thoroughly insulated to prevent mishaps.
4. Mains Supply: Always switch off the mains supply before initiating any repair work on the electric circuit.
5. Emergency Response: In the event of a short circuit or shock, promptly switch off the main supply and take measures to insulate the affected person. Avoid direct contact.
6. Earthing and Fuse Installation: Exercise caution while earthing or installing fuses for household electric circuits.

These precautions are crucial for maintaining a safe working environment and preventing potential hazards associated with electrical mishaps.

## FAQ’s on Electric Circuit

### What do you mean by electric circuit?

An electric circuit is a closed loop of conductive material, such as wires, through which electrons can flow. It comprises various components, including a power source, conductors, a switch, and a load.

### What is a simple electrical circuit?

A simple electrical circuit is the most basic form of an electric circuit, typically comprising a battery, a switch, a light bulb, and connecting wires. The battery provides the power source, the switch controls the current flow, the light bulb acts as the load, and the wires provide a pathway for electrons to travel.

### What are the 3 types of electrical circuits?

The three main types of electrical circuits are series circuits, parallel circuits, and combination circuits. 1. Series Circuit: Components are connected in a single line, with the same current flowing through each component. 2. Parallel Circuit: Components are connected on separate branches, allowing current to divide among them. 3. Combination Circuit: A mix of series and parallel connections, creating a more complex circuit layout.

### What is the principle of electric circuit?

The principle of an electric circuit is based on the flow of electrons, negatively charged particles, through a conductive material. When a closed loop is established, a potential difference, or voltage, is created, driving the electrons to move from negative to positive terminals. This movement of electrons constitutes an electric current, powering various electrical devices.

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