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The National MagLab is funded by the National Science Foundation and the State of Florida.

Current Flow

This tutorial illustrates the flow of electricity through a circuit and how that flow is impacted by resistors in the circuit.


  1. Take a look at the illustration of a battery, looped with a wire coil and a simple motor on parallel circuits. The yellow dots are electrons representing the flow of electricity.
  2. Observe the readings on the flow meters, which show current in amps.
  3. See how the flow is affected by the resistance from the wire coil and the motor. The coil offers more resistance than the motor, so you’ll see the difference in readings on the flow meters.
  4. Use the slider to adjust the flow rate and see how it affects the meters.

Note that the flow measured for the motor and coil added together always matches the total current flowing through the circuit, seen on the meter to the right of the battery.