Chapter 3

Exploring Simple Circuits with Kirchhoff’s Laws

In This Chapter

Discovering Kirchhoff’s voltage law and current law

Analyzing simple circuits with the help of Kirchhoff and Ohm

Finding the equivalent resistance of series or parallel resistors and their combinations

Just like you follow the law of gravity after jumping out of a perfectly good airplane to go skydiving, the devices (or elements) in any circuit have to follow certain laws. Whereas you follow the laws of nature, circuit elements such as resistors must follow Kirchhoff’s laws.

This chapter introduces you to Gustav Kirchhoff’s two circuit laws — Kirchhoff’s voltage law (KVL) and Kirchhoff’s current law (KCL) — and reveals how to use them in conjunction with Ohm’s law, which I introduce in Chapter 2. With these three laws, you can solve for the current and voltage in any device in a circuit. The circuits in this chapter focus primarily on resistors driven by independent sources such as batteries.

Presenting Kirchhoff’s Famous Circuit Laws

Gustav Kirchhoff’s two laws — Kirchhoff’s voltage law (KVL) and Kirchhoff’s current law (KCL) — are essential for creating connection equations. Connection equations follow ...

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