Series and Parallel Circuits
Components of an electrical circuit or electronic circuit can be connected in many different ways. The two simplest of these are called series and parallel and occur frequently.
Series Circuits: A series circuit is a circuit where the components are connected in a consecutive chain. This gives the current only one path to take, so the current through each of the components is the same, and the voltage across the circuit is the sum of the voltages across each component. In a series circuit, every device must function for the circuit to be complete. One bulb burning out in a series circuit breaks the circuit.
Parallel Circuits: A parallel circuit is a circuit where the components are connected parallel to each other. So the current will flow in several paths, but the voltage across each of the components is the same, and the total current is the sum of the currents through each component. In parallel circuits, each light has its own circuit, so all but one light could be burned out, and the last one will still function.