1. Circuit Simple Definition (Simplest, Most Basic Meaning & Explanation of an Electric Circuit)

What Is Circuit? (Small Answer)

The simplest one-sentence definition of an electrical circuit (or sometimes called an electric circuit) is a closed loop that carries electricity.

A Simple, Basic Circuit

A simple electrical circuit consists of 3 things (components) connected together, which include:

  1. a power source,
  2. a conductor,
  3. and a load.
Simple Electrical Circuit Diagram

1. Power Source

The power source is the part of the circuit that produces or stores electricity. For example, a solar panel produces electricity, while a battery stores electricity.

Electricity is a powerful source of energy that is used in many ways. Whether it is powering homes and businesses, or running appliances and machines, electricity is an important part of our lives.

The electric circuit’s power source is the key to getting this energy to where it is needed. This source can come from different places, but most often it comes from the local power company through conductive wires that run to our homes and businesses.

Other power sources that provide electrical energy to circuits are batteries, generators, and solar panels.

2. Conductor

The conductor is the part of the circuit that allows the flow of the electrical current. The most common example of a conductor is a wire.

A conductor is a material that easily allows electricity to flow through it.

For example, the conductor is the wire that carries the electricity from the battery to the light bulb and back. Copper is a good conductor, while plastic is a poor conductor.

Some common conductors include metal wires, metal plates, and liquids.

3. Load

The load is the part of the electric circuit that receives electricity for performing some sort of action. For example, a light bulb will receive electricity to produce light.

A load in an electrical circuit can be thought of as anything that consumes electrical power. This can include devices like light bulbs, motors, or any other type of electrical appliance.

When designing a circuit, it is important to ensure that the load is able to handle the amount of power that will be supplied to it. Exceeding the load’s maximum capacity can cause damage to the device and may even create a fire hazard.

Electric Circuit & Electrons

Electrons are very small particles of matter that have a negative charge of electricity.

To have a complete circuit, electrons from the power source have to travel from its negative side, along the circular path of the circuit (which includes the conductor and the load), and then back to the power source through its positive side.

So Electrons go from negative to positive.

Diagram: Electrons move from the negative side to the positive side of the power source.

You can think about a circuit like a racetrack. The cars (electrons) have to go all the way around and back to the starting point (the power source). If you don’t have a closed loop, no electricity can flow around the circuit.

Overview: Basic Meaning & Explanation of Circuit

An electronic circuit is a series of electrical elements that allow electricity to flow through them.

In other (simpler) words, a current is taking energy out of a power source, like a battery or outlet, and letting it run around in a loop and doing some useful work with it. That work might be something like spinning a fan, powering a TV, or charging a laptop.

There’s an infinite number of ways that you can create circuits. Circuits can be simple or complex and can be used in a variety of applications. This post only showed you the bare-bone basics but hopefully, it helped you to understand what a simple electric current is.

Next Up…

  1. What Is an Electric Circuit?
  2. What Is an Electric Current (Amps)?
  3. What Is Voltage (Volts)?
  4. What Is Electrical Resistance?
  5. What’s the Difference Between AC and DC?
  6. What Are Watts?
  7. What Is Watt-Hour & Amp-Hour?