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Combined Series-Parallel Circuits

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A-MAZE-ing Circuits
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What makes combined series-parallel circuits initially difficult -- but ultimately simple -- to solve?

Credit: L2F1
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/l2f1/4895206958/sizes/o/in/photolist-8szdtY-8syW81-9Aci6k-dnLRiD-8mUh9Y-8mR8K8-8mUgYG-8mUh2A-eQu5aK-8WcwZq-cQji51-cQji1N-9ghAsL-cQjhUA-8Ln7z6-axrSXL-9TSfN2-bs25Sd-86ib2Q-ajVbPy-8MrcQR-8qhegy-8ieZuE/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

[Figure1]

You may have tried to solve maze problems in the Sunday newspaper, or even attempted to navigate a physical one such as the hedge maze pictured above, located in Chevening, England. The maze may have been difficult to solve at first, but maybe you tried it a second time and found a shorter route. Both routes, however, would have had the same end.

Combined series-parallel circuits work in a similar manner. Although the current may split along the way, it will ultimately reach the voltage source. Some routes may even be more difficult to travel through for the current due to differences in resistance.

Creative Applications

  1. Calculate the current and voltage across each resistor in the following circuit schematic. Round to the nearest decimal place in your answers.

    Credit: CK-12
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

  2. Calculate the current and voltage across each resistor in the following circuit schematic. Round to the nearest decimal place in your answers.

    Credit: CK-12
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

     

  3. True or False: If one of the two parallel portions in the above series-parallel circuit went out, the circuit as a whole would still run. Explain your answer.




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