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Jul 28, 2010
Would adding a capacitor or a resistor in parallel to an existing resistor in a circuit change the total voltage if they have different capacitance or resistance? I'm thinking that it won't change the total voltage or the voltage that passes over the now in-parallel items, but the current passing through each of them would be different? Because when things are in parallel, they must have equal voltages, correct? Please help me clarify this. Thanks!


10+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2009
Yup. If you only have a battery and resistors in parallel, then the voltage across each will be the same, but as you add more and more resistors in parallel the current changes. The current actually increases through the circuit.
Jul 5, 2011
Medical Student
Yup that's right. The Current goes up since the Resistance has gone down, but each resistor still has the full voltage of the battery across it (assuming everything is in parallel with no other resistors). My physics teacher had a good of remembering it: if you can connect the "endpoints" of the resistors through just a 0 resistance wire, then they're in parallel and the V is the same.

Hope this helps.
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