Difference between Circuit and Network

Most of us always use the terms circuit and network interchangeably. Actually it is not so. The two terms have a significant difference between them. In this article, we will remove the confusion and see what is the difference between circuit and network. Let first see the basic definitions.

What is Network?

A network is an interconnection of electrical elements that may or may not have a closed path.

What is Circuit?

A circuit is an interconnection of electrical elements but it must have atleast one independent source and one closed path.

Main Difference between Circuit and Network

The main difference between circuit and network is that circuit has atleast one closed path and one independent source whereas there is no such condition present with the network.

It is noted that all circuits are always network but vice-versa is not always true. It is also noted that for a network to be a circuit it must satisfy two conditions i.e.

  • it must have atleast one closed path.
  • it must have atleast one independent source.

Let us see two diagrams.

Difference between circuit and network

Fig. (a) is a network but not a circuit because it does not fulfill all the conditions of a circuit. Fig. (b) is a network as well as a circuit.

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