Current in Parallel Circuits

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IGCSE Physics Lessons
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A series of free GCSE/IGCSE Physics Notes and Lessons.

In these lessons, we will
• Describe what is meant by a parallel circuit.
• Describe the pattern of a current flow in an parallel circuit.

An electric current is a flow of electric charge around a circuit. This moves from the negative end of the cell to the positive end. However, scientists always draw the current in the opposite direction. We call that the conventional current.

A parallel circuit contains branches. Some of the current passes through both of the branches. The current in the branches adds up to the total current leaving the cell.

Current in parallel circuits
Current is divided when branches of a parallel circuit split.
Current is combined when branches of a parallel circuit join.
The total current flowing into a junction equals the total current flowing out of the junction.

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