What is an Electrical Circuit?

Electrical circuit example

If you work with electrical components you may wonder what allows the flow of electricity to remain uniform in a constant direction. The simple answer: circuits. So, what is an electrical circuit? An electrical circuit is a pathway along which electrical current is able to flow. Electrical circuits are made up of multiple components that transmit electricity. The basic laws that enable a mathematical understanding of the performance of a circuit are Ohm’s law and Kirchhoff’s rules. Learn more about the function of simple circuits below!

What Are the Parts of a Circuit?

Now that you can answer, “what is an electrical circuit,” you probably want to learn more about the structures that make electrical circuits possible. There are four components within a simple circuit that allow electricity to move. Let’s take a look at each of the components of a simple circuit below:

  • Conductors: A simple circuit often utilizes copper wires to work as conductors. These conductors form the path through which the electricity flows.
  • Switches: This is a small gap that exists within a circuit to allow it to be shut off. An “open” circuit is one that has had its connection interrupted at the switch. A “closed” circuit is one where electricity can flow.
  • The Load: Also known as a resistor, the load consumes the power being produced. Think of a light bulb as a common example of a load.
  • Power Source: A cell or battery is what generates the electricity that powers the load.

How Does a Circuit Work?

So, how does a circuit work? Well, a circuit can either be open or closed and will always follow three main rules. The rules of how a circuit works are:

  • Electricity always tries to flow from higher voltage to lower voltage
  • Electricity always has a job to do
  • Electricity always needs a path to travel

It is important to note that circuits can be vastly more complex than the simple circuit we have discussed above. However, the general principles and rules of how a circuit works will remain the same no matter how complicated the circuit gets. So, these explanations can be extrapolated to help you understand the mechanics of any circuit you encounter.

Team Up with Gateway Cable for Your Next Job

Sill asking, “how does a circuit work?” Not to worry. From simple to complex, the function of circuits can be mystifying and confusing, to say the least. Contact us to learn more about how circuits work from our expert team. If you need materials for your next project, explore our available products, or request a quote. Our dedicated team is happy to offer years of insight and products that are proudly built in the U.S.A.