# What's the difference between a short circuit and a parallel circuit? [closed]

Isn't a short circuit just a parallel circuit with one path having very low resistance? Shouldn't both paths still have the same voltage across them? So why does all the current go through the short while the rest of the circuit goes dark (at least this is my understanding of shorts). You might say that it's because the short has super low resistance and real power sources have physical limitations, but for example: in a NOT gate there are two resistors that prevent the transistor (junction transistor) from getting overwhelmed, and the current remains at a reasonable value. In my mind this clearly creates a parallel circuit, yet the current only flows through one path depending on the input. Why?

## closed as unclear what you're asking by CuriousOne, ACuriousMind♦, Norbert Schuch, user36790, Kyle KanosFeb 27 '16 at 23:39

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• The design of digital logic is an engineering question, but much of your question indicates that you are not very familiar with electric circuits. "A short" is usually an expression for a conducting path in the wrong place (just like "dirt" is matter in the wrong place). The transistor that is pulling the output of a gate to ground is in the right place, it is not creating "a short". – CuriousOne Feb 27 '16 at 2:28
• @CuriousOne While your explanation is correct, I'm going to disagree with your assessment of the term "short." Laymen and non-science trade-level electricians may use short in the sense you say, there are many electrical engineers that will use the term short to describe an appropriate low resistance path. Just a small disagreement. Still appreciate your contributions. – Bill N Feb 27 '16 at 4:24
• @BillN: Quite the contrary, I am using it in the way an electrical engineer uses "short". A short doesn't belong in your circuit. If it's there, things are usually going South fast. If I want a conducting path in my circuit, I make a "connection" or a "net", but I don't make a "short". – CuriousOne Feb 27 '16 at 4:30
• It would help if you include a schematic of the circuit you're asking about. For example, because there is more than one current path in an inverter circuit, and so when you talk about "the current" doing something it's not clear which current you mean. – The Photon Feb 27 '16 at 5:38