Here's what I think I know:

Voltage is the result of an electric potential difference of some charge that perhaps came about by a battery cell or generator or whatever. In this situation, the charge - let's say an electron - tends to travel to the low potential rigorously (with the ability to do work) due to the nature of electric fields. In a circuit, as it does so (relatively slowly), all the other weakly bonded electrons on the conductive wire travel as well. This simultaneous electron migration results in a current (flow of charge through a certain point within a certain time).

Now, here are the premises that I think underlie my confusion:

Apparently all of this electric energy must be converted to some other form by the time it reaches the low potential point. So if you have a simple light-bulb circuit at 12 volts, there is a voltage drop of 12 volts for electrons that travel through the bulb. If you have a 12 volt series circuit with two identical light-bulbs, there will be two 6 volt drops.

My confusion:

What is the reason for this volt drop distribution? Intuitively, I would think that the voltage drop due to a resistor would be a fixed amount depending on the light's material, regardless of how many other resistors become involved.


closed as unclear what you're asking by Gert, user36790, John Rennie, ACuriousMind, Jon Custer Sep 26 '16 at 14:49

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    $\begingroup$ I'm almost certain this has already been asked and answered here. Have you searched the site or the "Related" questions listed on the right? $\endgroup$ – Alfred Centauri Sep 25 '16 at 23:14
  • $\begingroup$ @AlfredCentauri There doesn't seem to be information answering my question in those posts. Perhaps the answers are there, but hidden in language that I do not understand. If it's not a bother, could you refer me to any posts you think would be helpful? $\endgroup$ – Arman Som Sep 26 '16 at 6:14
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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of How do electrons "know" to share their voltage between two resistors? $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Sep 26 '16 at 11:54