Students will learn how to analyze and solve problems involving circuits with resistors in parallel.
Resistors in Parallel: All resistors are connected together at both ends. There are many rivers (i.e. The main river branches off into many other rivers), so all resistors receive different amounts of current. But since they are all connected to the same point at both ends they all receive the same voltage.
A circuit is wired up with 2 resistors in parallel.
Both resistors are directly connected to the power supply, so both have the same 20V across them. But they are on different ‘rivers’ so they have different current flowing through them. Lets go through the same questions and answers as with the circuit in series.
Question: What is the total resistance of the circuit?
Answer: The total resistance is
Question: What is the total current coming out of the power supply?
Answer: Use Ohm’s Law
Question: How much power does the power supply dissipate?
Question: How much power is each resistor dissipating?
Answer: Each resistor has different current across it, but the same voltage. So, using Ohm’s law, convert the power formula into a form that does not depend on current.
Question: How much current is flowing through each resistor?
Answer: Use Ohm’s law to calculate the current for each resistor.
Notice that the
Watch this Explanation
82 Ωresistors and one 12 Ωresistor are wired in parallel with a 9Vbattery.
- Draw the schematic diagram.
- What is the total resistance of the circuit?
- What does the ammeter read and which resistor is dissipating the most power?
- Given three resistors,
200 Ω,300 Ωand 600 Ωand a 120Vpower source connect them in a way to heat a container of water as rapidly as possible.
- Show the circuit diagram
- How many joules of heat are developed after 5 minutes?
Answers to Selected Problems
0.8Aand the 50 Ωon the left
- part 2