Resistors connected in parallel

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Parallel resistors are most commonly known for having an equivalent of less resistance than any of the resistors that are connected in parallel. They also share the total heat (power) generation.

This lower resistance property is may be confusing, so here is a nice example that will hopefully clear things up. 2 equal value resistors will pass twice the total current of a single resistor with the same voltage across it. Therefore the 2 parallel equal value resistors have an equivalent resistance of 1/2 each of their value.

Two equal value parallel resistors will conduct twice the current for a given voltage by providing half the equivalent resistance diagram by Electronzap Electronzapdotcom
Two equal value parallel resistors will conduct twice the current for a given voltage by providing half the equivalent resistance diagram by Electronzap Electronzapdotcom

Two parallel 1K quarter watt resistors act like a 500 ohm half watt resistor measured and thermal

Putting 5 volts across a 1KΩ resistor will provide 5V/1000Ω = 0.005A (5mA) of current. By connecting another 1KΩ resistor in parallel with that resistor, the second resistor will also have 5V across it, and therefore will also pass 5mA of current for a total current of 10mA. Since 5V/500Ω = 0.01A (10mA), we say that two 1000Ω resistors in parallel have the equivalent resistance of a single 500Ω resistor.

A benefit of parallel resistors is that the heat produced (voltage times current), is split up between 2 components. Therefore, each of 2 parallel 1K resistors with 5V across them, will get half as hot as a single 500Ω resistor with 5V across it.

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