Parallel Circuit Voltage

You have seen that the source voltage in a series circuit divides proportionately across each resistor in the circuit. IN PARALLEL CIRCUIT VOLTAGE, THE SAME VOLTAGE IS PRESENT IN EACH BRANCH. (A branch is a section of a circuit that has a complete path for current.) In the first illustration below this voltage is equal to the applied voltage (Es). This can be expressed in equation form as:

ES = ER1 = ER2

Parallel circuit voltage measurements are taken across the resistors of a parallel circuit, (as illustrated below) to verify this equation. Each meter indicates the same amount of voltage. Notice that the voltage across each resistor is the same as the applied voltage.

Voltage comparison in a parallel circuit

Voltage comparison in a parallel circuit.

Example: Assume that the current through a resistor of a parallel circuit is known to be 4.5 milliamperes (4.5 mA) and the value of the resistor is 30,000 ohms (30 kÙ). Determine the source voltage. The circuit is shown in the next illustration below


Voltage comparison in a parallel circuit formula given:


Voltage comparison in a parallel circuit formula solution:

Example problem parallel circuit

Example problem parallel circuit.

Since the source voltage is equal to the voltage of a branch:

Voltage comparison in a parallel circuit formula

To simplify the math operation, the values can be expressed in powers of ten as follows:

Voltage comparison in a parallel circuit formula

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