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When we say that the current flowing in a series circuit is the same, do we mean that the current is same in the entire circuit i.e, charge per unit time is the same in the entire circuit at any point of time, or do we mean that at each point in the circuit, the charge per unit time is the same? While explaining, please bear in mind that I'm a student of the tenth grade, who has just been introduced to charge, emf,etc.. I would really appreciate if there are easy explanations with no complex equations and diagrams.

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  • $\begingroup$ can you please be more clear as to which two scenarios you are talking about? $\endgroup$ – lineage Nov 16 '19 at 17:36
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    $\begingroup$ Think of water flowing in a river and then you have an idea of the charge flowing in a circuit. $\endgroup$ – Farcher Nov 16 '19 at 18:07
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    $\begingroup$ ... or imagine that you are doing a survey, counting the number of cars per minute crossing a line drawn across a road. Suppose you could do the same at various points around an electric circuit, with units of charge (electrons, perhaps) instead of cars. The results of the surveys would be the same charge per second crossing through the cross-section of the conductor at each point. $\endgroup$ – Philip Wood Nov 16 '19 at 19:56
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charge per unit time is the same in the entire circuit at any point of time, or do we mean that at each point in the circuit, the charge per unit time is the same?

If the circuit has only one loop, then at any point in time, the current is the same at all points in that loop.

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charge per unit time is the same in the entire circuit at any point of time

at each point in the circuit, the charge per unit time is the same

Both of these statements are true. The current is the same at all points, thus it is the same throughout the entire circuit.

This is a consequence of Kirchhoff's current law: all entering current must equal all leaving current at every point (meaning, if two Coulomb of charge enter every second, then also two Coulomb of charge must leave every second). Otherwise there would be either a charge build-up or a charge deficit somewhere.

When the circuit has reached steady state then this law can be assumed to hold, and then the current is constant throughout a series connection.

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