# Analysing parallel circuits

I can use the rules for current and potential difference and the equation I = V ÷ R to analyse parallel circuits.

# Analysing parallel circuits

I can use the rules for current and potential difference and the equation I = V ÷ R to analyse parallel circuits.

## Lesson details

### Key learning points

- Current can be calculated using the equation: current = p.d. ÷ resistance (I = V ÷ R).
- The rules of current and p.d. for a parallel circuit can be applied to find some missing values of current and p.d.
- The equation I = V ÷ R can be rearranged so that either p.d. or R is the subject of the equation.
- If any two values in the equation I = V ÷ R are known, the third can be calculated.
- If only one value in I = V ÷ R is shown for a component, circuit rules need to be applied to the rest of the circuit.

### Common misconception

To solve circuit problems you need only to put numbers into equations.

Talk through circuits with pupils before analysing them in order to develop an intrinsic understanding of how circuits work; research shows this improves pupils’ problem solving ability for electric circuits.

### Keywords

Current - the rate of flow of charge in a circuit

Branch - a separate series loop in a parallel circuit

Resistance - a property of materials that makes it harder for current to flow

Potential difference (p.d.) - a measure of how 'hard' an electric field can push charge

Parallel - a type of circuit in which there are two or more separate branches

### Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

## Video

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