In a series circuit, voltage is distributed in a specific manner, and it's important to understand how it works. In a series circuit, all the components (such as resistors, lamps, or any other devices) are connected in a single, continuous loop, forming a single pathway for the current to flow. The current passing through each component is the same, and there is only one path for the current to travel.
When current flows through a series circuit, the voltage is distributed proportionally across each component based on its resistance (impedance). The voltage across each component adds up to the total voltage of the circuit (the voltage of the power source).
To illustrate how voltage is distributed in a series circuit, consider the following analogy with water flow:
Imagine you have a series of pipes connected one after the other, forming a single pipeline. At the start, you have a water pump that creates pressure and pushes water through the pipeline. The water flows through each pipe in the series, encountering different levels of resistance (e.g., narrower pipes, rough surfaces, etc.).
In this analogy:
The water pump represents the voltage source in the circuit.
The pipes represent the different components (e.g., resistors) in the series circuit.
The water flow represents the electric current.
As the water flows through each pipe, the pressure (analogous to voltage) decreases based on the resistance encountered in that particular section of the pipeline. Similarly, in a series circuit, the voltage across each component decreases according to its resistance.
In mathematical terms, if you have a series circuit with 'n' components, each with a resistance (impedance) of R1, R2, R3,..., Rn, and the total voltage of the circuit (voltage source) is V_total, then the voltage across each component (V1, V2, V3,..., Vn) can be calculated as follows:
V1 = V_total
V2 = V_total
V3 = V_total
Vn = V_total
In summary, in a series circuit, the same current flows through all components, and the voltage is distributed proportionally across each component based on its resistance. The sum of the voltage drops across all components in the circuit equals the total voltage provided by the voltage source.