Lesson 1, Topic 1
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What is an electronic circuit?

What is an electronic Circuit?

Electronics is present everywhere. It has, without any doubt, made our life a lot easier than our ancestors could have ever imagined. But, not even the simplest gadget can’t work unless the arrangement of different components or different parts used to make it is correct. This arrangement of components in the form of a closed path for the charge to flow is known as a circuit. A circuit made of electronic components and wires is known as an electronic circuit.

The simplest circuit can consist of just a power source and one component.

Simple Circuit

But the complex ones? There is no limit to the number of components in them!


Whenever we talk about any circuit, the following terms are always there in the picture:

  • A power source that provides the voltage e.g. a battery
  • Current
  • Resistance
  • Wires

Pump – Water Analogy

To get a hang of what these exactly are, let’s use an analogy. First, let’s consider a simple pipe closed at both ends with some water in it. If the pipe is lying on the ground or on a flat surface, will the water inside it flow? No, it won’t. So, what should we do so that the water in the pipe starts flowing?

Let’s answer this question with a situation; in your house, or in your apartment building, you must have seen long pipes fixed on the walls that come down from the roof to the ground. How does the water in these pipes flow? It moves because of the height difference in the two ends of the pipes, one of which is at the roof, and other which is on the ground. But what about the water in that we store in the tanks on the roof? In this case, we take the help of a small but strong machine: the pump. The pump pushes the groundwater upward, into the tanks on the roof. Therefore, to make the water move, we need either a height difference between the two ends or a pump.

Let’s have a look at a simple water system which has a pump, and a pipe that is connected to the pump.

Water Pump System

The pump pushes water into the pipe. The water flows around and comes back to the pump. Let’s put on our thinking caps for a few minutes and analyze the system: what exactly is the pump doing? It is taking in the water from one side, and then pushing it out at high pressure from the other side, into the pipe. The water flows continuously due to the difference in pressure on the two sides. The pipe acts as a path for the water to flow. Imagine what would happen if we become Hulk for a moment and press the pipe with all our might (Hulk press!) somewhere in the middle? Exactly. It would become difficult for the water to flow through the pressed portion.


Our system is what you can call a circuit:

  • The pump acts like a power source that pushes the water around.
  • The pipe is similar to a wire; it provides the path for water to flow around.
  • The flow of water is similar to current, and water itself is similar to electric charge.
  • The pressure that the pump applies to make the water to flow, is similar to voltage.
  • And finally, what the pressed portion of the pipe does when it opposes the flow of water is similar to resistance.

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