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Begining Circuit Analysis and Ohms Law Page 1

Circuit analysis is the process of looking at a circuit and figuring out what it does. For simple circuits this is pretty easy. For complex circuits it can be amazingly hard, even for pros. This guide will get you started with circuit analysis.

Lets start with a simple circuit and figure out what it does. If you have been reading these guides from the begining you have seen this circuit before.

Schematic Symbol
Actual Image

Lets analyze this circuit.

  • The battery provides +9 volts and ground to the light bulb through wires.
  • The light bulb uses the voltage provided to create light.
  • Over time, the battery will drain and the light bulb will no longer light up.

This is a good analysis of the circuit above. It seems that the battery has energy stored up in it, and the light bulb is using that energy to create light. Over time the energy is depleted and the battery is dead.

Batteries and Voltage

Batteries are energy storing devices. They are frequently rated in volts because a certain voltage is present at the + (positive) terminal of a battery.

This battery has voltage present on its + terminal.

Voltage is a measurement of potential energy. This means that voltage has the potential to do work. It does not do work on its own, it just has the potential to do it. Voltage is a measurement, just like inches or centimenters is a measurement. Inches and centimeters measure length, while voltage measures potential energy.

When voltage (potential energy) is present in a closed circuit, it causes a current to flow. Current is the flow of electricity from one location to another. Current is measured in amps. Lets look at a table of different measurements to clarify.

What is being measured
How it is measured
Voltage Potential

See that Voltage Potential is measured in Volts while Current is measured in Amps. You'll want to remember that for later.

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Jason Bauer

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Jason Bauer is an owner and programmer for Portforward.com. He's allergic to twitter and facebook, but you can find more of his articles in the Guides section.
Sunday, 18-Feb-2018 16:16:15 PST