This is a simulation of a simple series circuit.
First, notice that there are three different views. Click on the appropriate buttons
to view each of them.
1. The first is a Circuit Diagram (in class we referred to this as a Schematic
Diagram). This is what you would see printed as the description of a circuit in
a book or on a paper distributed with the device.
2. The second view (Conventional Current) shows the flow of positive charge carriers.
The red dots represent positive charges moving through the circuit. This is the
way current is usually described in AP or college level work. You may be surprised
to see the positive charges moving through the battery from negative toward the
positive terminal. That requires the battery to expend energy, which is why batteries
eventually stop working.
3. The third view (Actual charge flow) shows red dots as positive charge carriers
and blue dots representing negative charge carriers. This is the way current is
usually described in high school level work. That is because we view light, tiny
electrons as able to move through copper wires, rather than the large, heavy,
1. Using the Actual Charge Flow view and a fixed voltage of your choice, vary
the resistance. Answer this question: As you increase the resistance at a fixed
voltage, does the current increase, decrease, or remain constant?
2. Using the Actual Charge Flow vies and a fixed resistance of your choice vary
the voltage. Answer this question: As you increase the voltage at a fixed resistance,
does the current increase, decrease, or remain constant?