Circuit Analysis and Terminology

In order for someone to be able to analyse a circuit, he or she must become familiar first with the basic circuit terminology.

Consider the circuit below:

On this circuit there seven resistances, two voltage sources and one current source.

A node is a point in the circuit where two or more circuit elements join.

The current circuit has seven nodes (points a to g). Observing now the figure below, points b1 and b2 are considered to be the same point as  node b. The same happens to points g1 and g2 which are considered to be the same point as node g. This is due to the fact that there is no circuit element between these points so they are not considered as separate nodes and are ignored.

A path is traced through a set of adjoining elements without passing through a node more than once. In the figure below three different example paths are presented:

A branch is a path containing one circuit element that lays between two nodes. On the figure below the ten branches that are contained in the circuit are presented:


A closed path or loop is formed when a path is traced such that the path ends at the original node. In the figure below five closed paths are presented.

A mesh is a special type of loop that does not contain any other loops within it. On the figure below there are four meshes