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Resistors in Series

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Electric Fountain

How can the water-recycling nature of a fountain represent the main aspects of a series circuit, especially resistance?                   

                           

Credit: simononly
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/simononly/7263172940/sizes/o/in/photostream/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

A water fountain expels water into the air in jets, which then falls back down into a lower basin to be recycled through pipes and shot out again. However, one point in the pipe system has a small buildup of dirt and debris that constricts flow and prevents water from passing through as easily as it does in other areas of the fountain. Therefore, if water flow was limited from the point of the constriction onwards, water would simply dribble down the fountain and not be shot out in jets.

Creative Applications

1. What makes the fountain like a series circuit?

2. Recall that current is constant throughout a series circuit. What would be the equivalent property of current in a series of pipes like in the fountain?

3. What should happen to the pressure of the water flow through the constriction for the fountain to continue working properly? What would be the circuit equivalent of pressure?

4. The debris in the water pipes are analogous to what components of an electric circuit? Adding more debris will affect what property of the water flow? How is this similar to a series circuit?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: simononly; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/simononly/7263172940/sizes/o/in/photostream/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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