The basics of Electricity
Electrons are what start
electricity. Electrons are found
in atoms and have negative
Every atoms contains one or
Electricity is the movement of charged particles from one
place to another.
For electricity to flow, there has to
be something that pushes the
electrons. This is called an
electromotive force (EMF). A
battery or power outlet creates this
electromotive force which induces
current in a circuit.
EMF is measured in volts.
An electric circuit is a closed path of
conductors through which current can
Electrical circuits always have a source of
electricity such as a battery, a load(a light
bulb), and a two wires that carry the
electricity between the batter and the load.
There are also materials called resistors
that are present in circuits that slow down
the flow of the current.
In a series circuit there is only one path for
the electrons to flow.
The resistors in a series circuit are connected
together in a line.
Current flows through each resistor because
there are no other paths to follow.
In a parallel circuit there is more than one
continuous path for the electrons to flow. There
are several pathways lined up parallel to each
other that electricity can pass through.
Each pathway has its own resistor.
As the current flows through the circuit, the
current splits, because current goes through each
If one of the light bulbs is
taken out or damaged, the
other one will not light up,
because the electricity cannot
pass through the circuit.
If one light bulb is taken out
or damaged, the other will
still light up, because the
current can still pass through
the other pathways.
Examples of Series Circuits
Lamps are a series circuit. When the switch is
turned on, current will flow to the light bulb.
The current can only follow one path.
Refrigerators are also series circuits. If they get
hotter that the temperature on the thermostat
the compressor will turn on dropping the
temperature on the inside. Once it gets to the
desired temperature the compressor will turn off
Examples of Parallel Circuits
Cities use parallel circuits to power their buildings and
homes so that each place can get the same amount of
electricity and so if one are goes out the whole city does
In hour homes, each rooms has its own parallel lighting
circuit so, if a light bulb blows, the others don’t.