May 132013

Question by Worldmeetsheartbeat: What are the similarities and differences between an electrical circuit and the flow of water in pipes?
science – physics – electrical circuits

Best answer:

Answer by oldprof

The current of water flows in pipes much like the current of electrons flows in wires. Where pipes split the current splits; where wires split the current splits.

The current of water flows faster when the water pressure goes higher. The current of electrons flows faster when the voltage goes higher.

The current of water flows slower when the cross sectional area of the pipes is constricted. The current of electrons flows slower when the cross sectional area of the wires is constricted.


The current of water flows onto the ground when a pipe is severed. The current of electrons through a wire does not.

Increasing current of water flow causes a minimal increase in temperature. Increasing the current of electrons causes a noticeable increase in temperature.

The pipes must be hollow for the current of water to flow. The wires are not solid and the free electrons flow freely nonetheless.

Water flows through pipes at rates like meters per second. Electrons drift through wires a rates like .00028 m/s (copper wire).

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Dec 242011

Question by Toivo L: Why would power to a circuit be interrupted when screwing in a light bulb?
I recently had the light fixture off to painting a ceiling. I accidentally hit the wires together and caused a pop and spark, but it did not trip the circuit breaker. When I re-installed the fixture it no longer worked. I use a voltage detector and there is power flowing into the box, but when I screw in a light bulb, there no longer is any power flowing in.

What could cause this and how could I detect and fix it?
We have tried two different fixtures, so we know the fixture is ok. We have also tried multiple bulbs.

Best answer:

Answer by Ralfcoder
You may have:

damaged the fixture

broke the filament in the light bulb

reconnected everything incorrectly.

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Dec 212011

Question by : How do you calculate power in a parallel and series circuit?
Is there even a difference?

The question is calculate the power consumed by each resistor…. I used the equation P=IV for each resistor to calculate the power but I don’t know if there is a difference between series and paralell power calculations. Thanks!!

Best answer:

Answer by billrussell42
No, calculate the power in each resistor with P = V*I, and then add up the power for each resistor to get the total power. Series or parallel, you still add the powers.


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