Electric circuit | what is an electric circuit

Electric Circuit

What is an electric circuit

An Electric Circuit is a closed path composed of active (Battery, Current Source) and passive elements (Resistor, Inductor, Capacitor) to which current is confined.The example of electric circuit is shown in figure below.

Components of Electric Circuit

Active Elements \\An Active element is one which supplies energy to the circuit. Examples of active elements include voltage and current sources, generators, and electronic devices that require power supplies. A transistor is an active circuit element, meaning that it can amplify power of a signal. On the other hand, transformer is not an active element because it does not amplify the power level and power remains same both in primary and secondary sides. Transformer is an example of passive element.

Passive Elements\\Passive element is one which receives energy and converts it into heat or stores energy in the form of electric field or magnetic field. e.g. Resistors, Capacitors and Inductors.

Node\\A point at which two or more circuit elements are joined together. in figure above  points “a”, “b”, “c”, “d”, “e”, and “f” are nodes because at each point two or more circuit elements are joined together. For example at point “a” two circuit elements R1 and  R2 are joint together.

Junction\\A point at which three or more branches are joined together. in the figure below  points “c” and “” in are junction points.  At point “c” three circuit elements R1,  R4 and battery are joint together.

Branch\\A part of network which lies between two junction points is called branch. in the figure below parts “cabd”, “cfed” and “cd” are branches of the circuit.

Linear Circuit\\A circuit whose parameters do not change their values with current or voltage. It is known as linear circuit. ohm’s law can be applied to such circuits. Above figure is the example of linear circuit. In fact, a circuit is linear if and only if its input and output can be related by a straight line passing through the origin as shown in figure. 

Non-Linear Circuit\\A circuit whose parameters change their values with current or voltage. It is known as Non-linear circuit. ohm’s law cannot be applied to such circuits. The best example of Non-linear circuit is circuit containing diode. Non-linear circuit does not obey the homogeneity and additive properties. Volt-ampere characteristics of non-linear elements are shown in figure below. 

Bilateral Circuit\\A circuit whose properties or characteristics are same in either direction is called bilateral circuit. e.g. distribution lines, transmission lines etc.

Unilateral Circuit\\A circuit whose properties or characteristics are not same in either directions is called unilateral circuits. e.g. a circuit containing diode.

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