Two laws concerning electric networks in which steady currents are flowing. The first law states that the algebraic sum of the currents in all the conductors that meet in a point is zero. The second law states that the algebraic sum of the products of current and resistance in each part of any closed path in a network is equal to the algebraic sum of the electromotive forces in the path.
- For branched cycles, Kirchhoff's law can be applied to calculate the resistance of the complete network, in analogy to its use for electric circuits.
- In working with Kirchhoff's law, positive and negative polarities are assigned in the direction of current flow.
- Since Kirchhoff's laws are derived from general physical properties of electricity, they are applicable to all kinds of electric circuits.
Mid 19th century: named after G. R. Kirchhoff (see Kirchhoff, Gustav Robert).
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Line breaks: Kirchhoff's laws
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