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Physics/An odd observation related to series connection


"Dear Sir,

Good morning. Last night I had my birthday party. My father along with other men arranged for the party celebration where we had a grand feast. As we arranged for the lights I found that two of the bulbs were connected in series but they didn't glow together. If either was removed the other glowed. What is responsible for this odd observation?

I would wait for answer,

Well, if they were truly connected in series properly, that's impossible.  Electrical current does not flow through open circuits.  More information might help, such as what kind of bulbs they were.  IF they were, in fact, connected in parallel then it's possible that there was only enough current available to operate one bulb at a time.  Further information about the wiring is required to answer your question, the circumstances about parties are irrelevant.


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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.


I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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