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Resistors in Parallel

Many resistors branch from a single point. The resistance of the circuit is the sum of the inverse of each resistor.

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Practice Resistors in Parallel
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What makes multiple toll booths in parallel more effective than a single toll booth?                   

Credit: vxla
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vxla/5007814217/sizes/o/in/photostream/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0


The traffic on a bridge connecting two cities usually does not have too much traffic. One day, both cities find out they are losing money and look for ways to prevent further losses. The cities’ financial reserves contribute evenly to place a toll booth in the center of the bridge. While the cities earn revenue from the toll booth, the bridge starts to face traffic jams very often. To combat the problem, the city officials add two more booths on either side of the first booth, in a parallel fashion.

Creative Applications

1. Ideally, how should traffic be affected by the addition of more toll booths? How does this relate to parallel circuits?

2. Based on your answer to the previous question, what would adding one more booth do for traffic on the bridge? Removing one?

3. Would it be helpful to add booths in front of and behind the first booth (in a series fashion)? Why or why not? If not, what makes the parallel fashion more practical than the series fashion in terms of the bridge?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: vxla; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vxla/5007814217/sizes/o/in/photostream/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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