My question may seem naive so please bear with me. I just began learning about circuits and I am having problem seeing how two or more batteries can be connected in series and how the current flows in this type of situation. Like when there is only one battery, you know that there is negative and positive terminal in that battery and that when current come out of out terminal, it travel down the circuit and enter the other terminal of the same battery. However when batteries are connected in series, how do currents flow from one side of terminal to another? Since batteries are connected in series, when current comes out of one terminal and travels down wire, wouldn't it reach touch the terminal of another battery, not the same battery from which the current initially came out of?

How are the battery in series organized? Is there is connection inside each of the batteries, like a tube, when electrons/current travel across each batteries?

  • $\begingroup$ A common PP3 9V battery is internally made up of 6 x 1.5V cells connected in series. In almost all consumer equipment that takes multiple AA, AAA, C, D cells they will be connected in series the same way as the cells inside the 9V battery. The systems works with electro-chemistry and you will learn all sorts of things if you read up on batteries on Wikipedia and follow links. $\endgroup$
    – KalleMP
    Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 20:37

4 Answers 4


This is a simple phenomena of Potential difference.

  1. As you know that there are two terminal of a battery one which gain electron and which give electron.
  2. There is a electrochemical reaction going on inside every battery which produce electrons.
  3. As the resistance of battery is low, so when connected in series there is increased concentration of electrons in the negative terminal.
  4. Nothing will happen unless and until we connect wire across the $+$ and $-$ terminal.
  5. Now the magic happens when we connect circuit from $+$ to $-$. The connentration of the electron get shifted toward the $-$ terminal.
  6. But there is the formation of Potential difference in the battery in series which we connected !!

Someone will think that why the electron doesn't move to $+$ terminal from inside the battery ??

  1. This is because of the formation of magnetic field and a barrier, which provides only one directional flow of current.
  2. Since the electron cannot move back so it take the forward route from the wire (which play a role now) and compensate for the loss of electron from the $+$ terminal. Because Energy is always conserved in a chemical reaction.

You might be knowing that the Current flow is opposite that of the electrons

This might be helping you ^_^

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 7. Formation of a magnetic field..? $\endgroup$
    – Mitchell
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 7:56
  • $\begingroup$ I was with you until #7. Can't upvote it $\endgroup$
    – Andrew
    Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ Magnetic field in the sense that the very tiny + attraction (void) force which attracts the - electrons. Barrier in the sense, a one directional flow to block flow of electrons inside the battery. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 16:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Andrew: electrons in motion create a magnetic field, thus guiding the flow of more electrons in the same general direction $\endgroup$
    – Mausy5043
    Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 8:23

In series means that the + of one battery is connect to - of next battery, like they usually are in battery compartments. The electrical loads then connect the outer most poles of your battery stack.

In this case, voltages add up and current flows then between outer most poles and between batteries


Placing the cells in series, touching, is really no different from placing them in the same circuit but not touching - ie with a resistor or lamp between them. The cells work the same wherever they are placed in the circuit. Current comes out of one cell at the +ve electrode and goes into the other cell at the -ve electrode. As charge passes through a cell is gains energy - first from one cell, then additional energy from the 2nd cell.


I didn't understand this until I found this animation.


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