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Q & A: Why continuous current flow?

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Most recent answer: 05/30/2014
Q:
Why does current remain same in the series circuit? when current flows through a series circuit , it does not change even when flowing through the resistors , why is that , please explain . The work of resistor is to degrade the current in circuit so why current not get affected even it passes through number of resistor?
- Ankit (age 15)
Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India
A:

Hello Ankit,

Good question.   The answer is that in any circuit the amount of current is constant unless there a way to collect or siphon off  the stuff that is flowing, such as a capacitor in the case of electric current.   You can also consider the flow of water in a pipe:  if you put in so many liters per second into the pipe it has to go somewhere, either at the end of the pipe, or into leaks, or a storage container.   Once the storage container is full, the total flow in and out must be the same.   In the case of water flowing in a pipe for example, it may encounter a change in pressure due to having to flow uphill.     Nevertheless the amount of flow will remain the same.  Same thing in an electrical circuit:  if the current encounters a resistor, the voltage drops but the current remains the same. The repulsive forces between charges are very strong, so you can't pile up charge somewhere for long. The "storage container" fills up quickly.

LeeH


(published on 05/30/2014)

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