What is a Circuit?

  • Before you design an electronic project, you need to know what a circuit is and how to create one properly.

    An electronic circuit is a circular path of conductors by which electric current can flow.  A closed circuit is like a circle because it starts and ends at the same point forming a complete loop. Furthermore, a closed circuit allows electricity to flow from the (+) power to the (-) ground uninterrupted.

    In contrast, if there is any break in the flow of electricity, this is known as an open circuit.  As shown below, a switch in a circuit can cause it to be open or closed depending on it’s position.


    Open & Closed Circuit

    All circuits need to have three basic elements.  These elements are a voltage source, conductive path and a load.

    The voltage source, such as a battery, is needed in order to cause the current to flow through the circuit.  In addition, there needs to be a conductive path that provides a route for the electricity to flow.  Finally, a proper circuit needs a load that consumes the power.  The load in the above circuit is the light bulb.


    "Introduction to Basic Electronics, Electronic ... - Makerspaces.com." https://www.makerspaces.com/basic-electronics/. Accessed 21 Feb. 2019.