Resistors are in parallel if both ends of each resistor are connected directly together; each element has the same voltage in this configuration. The sum of currents through the resistors equals the current through the battery.
Resistors are in series if one end of each resistor is connected together, with no other circuit element connected at that point; each element has the same current in this configuration. The sum of voltages across the resistors equals the voltage across the battery.
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Last updated Jan. 7, 1998.
Copyright George Watson, Univ. of Delaware, 1996.