# §3: Linear Circuit Analysis

§3.0
§3.1
§3.2
§3.3
§3.4
§3.5
§3.6
§3.7
§3.8
§3.9
§3.10
§3.12

Introduction
Linear Systems
Superposition
Node-Voltage Analysis
Mesh-Current Analysis
Equivalent Circuits
Thevinin Equivalents
Norton Equivalents
Source Transformations
Maximum Power Transfer
Equivalent Resistance Revisited§3.11
Summary

Examples

§3.0 Introduction
When a carpenter works on a house or a mechanic tunes an engine, they each have many tools and various options for
completing their tasks. Most tasks are straightforward: the carpenter uses a hammer to pound in nails, and the mechanic uses
a specially designed wrench to remove the head gasket. Other tasks are slightly more ambiguous and require more information.
Consider the carpenter working on a doorframe. Whether he chooses to use a hand saw, a power saw, or a pocket knife depends
on the precision required, the number of doorframes to be built, and quite possibly the tools he has immediately available. The
mechanic may have even more trouble in determining whether to use a half-inch or 13mm wrench for tightening an assembly.
The analysis methods presented in this chapter will provide you with a toolbox capable of tackling almost any linear DC circuit.
The various methods will invariably terminate at the same answer, but some are clearly more efficient in solving particular circuits.
Our goal is to construct both the toolbox and an understanding for what problems each tool is effective. More importantly, these
tools will provide you with the necessary preperation to analyze more complex circuits: those containing diodes, transistors, and
digital logic.
Beginning with simple applications of Ohm’s and Kirchoff’s laws, we will use equivalent impedances and dividers to lay the
foundation for our remaining circuit analyses. Larger circuits using both current and voltage dividers will create the framework.
The properties of basic linear systems will allow us to perform analyses by superposition and Node/Mesh equations, further
fleshing out our options. The last analysis step will be to create simple circuit equivalents for any linear circuit, thus completing
our toolbox. Finally, we will address the various methods in a general setting and demonstrate a few tricks that can be used to
view the problems more easily.
Where possible, we will demonstrate multiple methods in analyzing the circuits: you need only pick the one with which you
feel most comfortable. The benefit of solving a circuit multiple ways lies in the ability to check your answers–you can be pretty
well certain that you are correct when you solve by completely different methods and obtain the same solution.
We will begin with a simple example to determine an output voltage given a DC input voltage as shown in Figure 3.1.
Example: Determine the current I50 traveling downward in the 50Ω resistor.

Figure 1

We know two methods so far to solve this problem:
1

2

1. We may determine the equivalent resistance looking to the right from the voltage source to then find the total current
entering the collection of resistors. Application of a current divider then gives the current through the 50 Ω resistor.

Method 1:

Req = 25 + 50k(30 + 20) = 50 Ω
2V
= 40 mA
50Ω
(30 + 20)
=
IT = 20 mA
(30 + 20) + 50

IT =
I50

Figure 2

2. We may combine the 20, 30, and 50 Ohm resistors as an equivalent and then find the voltage across the equivalent (same
as the voltage across the 50 Ω resistor). Simple application of Ohm’s law then gives us the current.

Method 2:

Rcomb = 50k(30 + 20) = 25 Ω
Vcomb =
I50 =

Rcomb
(2V ) = 1 V
Rcomb + 25

Vcomb
= 20 mA
50Ω

Figure 3

In many ways, this is a very typical problem to solve: a circuit containing one source and perhaps four or five resistors. Let’s try
another, more difficult, example that verifies the conservation of energy principle: all energy dissipated by a resistor is generated
by the source.
Example: Verify the conservation of energy in the circuit shown in Figure 3.4.

3

Figure 4

We use a combination of dividers and Ohm’s law applications to calculate the currents and the power dissipated.
Current calculations:
I10Ω =

I6Ω =

1V
= 100 mA
10Ω

30
· I15Ω = 41.67 mA
30 + 6

I30Ω =

I15Ω =

1V
1V
=
= 50 mA
(15 + 6k30) Ω
20Ω

6
· I15Ω = 8.33 mA
30 + 6

I1V = I10Ω + I15Ω = 150 mA

Power calculations:
P1V = (1V )(150mA) = 150 mW

P6Ω = I62 (6Ω) = 10.41 mW

2
P15Ω = I15
(15Ω) = 37.5 mW

2
P10Ω = I10
(10Ω) = 100 mW

2
P30Ω = I30
(30Ω) = 2.08 mW

A fully labeled circuit is shown in Figure 3.5.

Figure 5

To verify that the conservation of energy holds, compare the power generated by the voltage source to the sum of powers
dissipated in the resisters.
.
150 mW = (10.41 + 100 + 37.5 + 2.08) mW
Notice that there is an implicit assumption in this last step: we have shown that the powers are equal, but not the energy! Under
steady-state conditions, the rate of energy into a circuit (the power) is constant and therefore the conservation of instantaneous
power implies conservation of energy over any time-scale.

§3.1: Linear Systems
One of the most common models studied in engineering is the linear system. The generic linear system is characterized by the
property of linearity, which requires that the output is a weighted sum of the inputs. Figure 3.6 shows the block diagram of a
basic linear system: for inputs x1 , x2 , ..., xn there are corresponding outputs y1 , y2 , ..., yn .

4

Figure 6

While this definition sounds trivial, answer the following question: is f (x) = x + 1 a linear system? Actually, no! Plotting the
function on a set of axes as shown in Figure 3.7, you will see the answer jump out at you.

Figure 7

If we scale an input, say αx1 , then the output is the same multiple times the corresponding output, αy1 . Likewise, if we add
two inputs and process them simultaneously, say x1 + x2 , then the output is the corresponding sum y1 + y2 .
Now, let’s return to the question of whether f (x) = x + 1 qualifies as a linear system: consider the three values f (0) = 1,
f (1) = 2, and f (2) = 3. If f (x) was linear, then f (0 + 1) = f (0) + f (1), but 2 6= 1 + 2 = 3. Further, if f (x) were linear then
f (2 · 1) = 2 · f (1) which is again contradicted. The only conclusion is that f (x) = x + 1 is nonlinear, despite being a line; a line
need not be mathematically linear! If the line happens to pass through the origin, then it will be linear.
Combining the properties discussed, we obtain the system response

y k = c k · xk

∀k ∈ N

succinctly stated as: “the output is a weighted sum of the inputs.” Two important characteristics of the linear system to
notice are that a zero input always corresponds to a zero output and that the weighting terms, c k , do not depend on any of the
other inputs.

§3.2: Superposition
The bridge between mathematical definitions of linear systems and electrical circuits is a circuit technique called superposition.
We will consider many circuits in this chapter, all of which are linear systems: the inputs of the circuit as a linear system are
voltage and current sources, and the outputs are any of the node voltages or currents in the circuit elements. A process called
superposition entails activating one source at a time and zeroing all others, allowing us to determine the response of the linear
system (find each ck ). Adding the contributions from each of these voltage and current sources, we will then be able to obtain the
overall response of our linear circuits. The limitation will be that we can only use superposition to determine linear quantities:
power calculations (quadratic), diode calculations (exponential), and transistor analyses (mixture) will require additional methods.
Example: Use superposition to determine the current in the 5Ω resistor shown in Figure 3.8.

5

Figure 8
Up to now, we would have attacked this problem by some combination of Ohm’s law calculations or voltage and current
dividers. With two power sources, we have to try superposition. We stated above that if we “zero the other sources,” we may
calculate the response of each source independently. Stated more simply, we can figure out the contributions of each source to
the overall response I5 .
So, how do we zero a source? First consider an ideal voltage source: it has a fixed voltage and will allow any current to flow
through it. The only circuit element we have that will allow any current to flow through it, but is guaranteed to have zero voltage
across its terminals is a short circuit. To zero a current source, we follow the same process: a current source transmits a fixed
current independent of the voltage across it, so a “zero current source” would be identical to an open circuit, which is guaranteed
to stop the flow of current (therefore zero) independent of voltage. We may also obtain these zeroed sources from the internal
resistances of the ideal voltage and current sources as derived in Chapter 2: a voltage source has zero internal resistance and
thus zeros to a short circuit, while a current source has infinite internal resistance, corresponidng to an open circuit when zeroed.
Figure 3.9 shows a graphical representation of zeroed sources.

Figure 9
Returning to the example in Figure 3.8, we find that by zeroing the sources one at a time, we obtain two separate circuits,
shown in Figure 3.10, corresponding to two separate (and linear) contributions to current in the 5Ω resistor.

Figure 10
The contributions from each source, I53A and I59V , may then be added up to obtain the actual current, I5 .
(9V )
10
+
· (−3A) = (0.6A) + (−2A) = −1.4 A
(10 + 5)Ω
10 + 5
What about power calculations? Power is relative to the square of either voltage or current (which we know to both be linear
quantities). Prove to yourself that superposition may not be used to directly calculate the power in a circuit; that is, compare
I52 (5Ω) and (I523A + I529V )(5Ω). The correct calculation of power always depends on the net current, I 5 , not the contributions from
I5 = I59V + I53A =

. Ix = Ix · Req1 kReq2 .13.12 shows the circuit with Vx zeroed. Figure 11 Repeating the same process as before. Figure 13 VR1 .6 each source. we zero the current source and replace it with an open circuit as shown in Figure 3. VR1 . Figure 12 VR1 . Example: Use superposition to determine the voltage across the resistor R 1 in Figure 3. where Req1 = R3 k(R4 + R5 + R6 ) and Req2 = R1 kR2 Repeating the analysis for the contribution of Vx . Vx = (−Vx ) · where Req2 Req1 + Req2 Req1 = R3 k(R4 + R5 + R6 ) and Req2 = R1 kR2 The total voltage. Figure 3. we zero all but one source to calculate the contribution from each voltage and current.11. can be written as the sum of contributions from each source.

Ix + V R1 . V x = Ix · Req1 kReq2 + (−Vx ) · Req2 Req1 + Req2 = Ix · R1 kR2 kR3 k(R4 + R5 + R6 ) − Vx · R1 kR2 R1 kR2 + R3 k(R4 + R5 + R6 ) Example: Solve for the voltage across the 50 Ω resistor in Figure 3. Figure 15 V5020V = (+20 V ) · 70k(20 + 50) 50 · = 10 V 70k(20 + 50) + 15 20 + 50 Next consider the 2 A source. Figure 16 V502A = (+2 A) · [50k(20 + 70k15)] = 39. . Figure 14 First consider the 20 V source.7 VR1 = V R1 .29 V and finally consider the 10 V source.14.

we can determine the ratio of change ( 10V that through to the output. the new response V5025V is 2. V50 = V5020V + V502A + V5010V = 55. by linearity. but will proceed quicker by combining them in a smart fashion.5 · V5010V = 15. The final example of superposition will have sources that can be combined (series voltage source and parallel current sources) once another source in the circuit is zeroed. Figure 18 If we zero both of the voltage sources.5) in the voltage source input and. Example: Use superposition to solve for the voltage Vx across R1 in Figure 3.07 V 50 + 15k70 + 20 Adding up the individual contributions. This easy correction is one of the benefits of superposition over other analysis methods.18 V .36 V What if we throw in a twist to the last problem? We find out that the circuit we started with was drawn incorrectly: the engineer specified a 25 V source in place of the 10 V source. we obtain the total voltage.18. carry recalculating any circuits. The analysis will work just as well considering each source individually. whose equivalent is simply the difference of I1 and I2 .8 Figure 17 V5010V = (+10 V ) · 50 = 6. V50 . Therefore. Do we need to re-do the entire process? Not a chance! Instead of 25V = 2. we end up with two parallel current sources. .

Establish the unknown’s voltage polarity or current direction (and keep consistent throughout the analysis). treating all controlled sources as independent (non-controlled sources) and rectifying the algebra later.20. Vx = VxI1 −I2 + VxV2 −V1 = (I1 − I2 ) · R1 k(R2 + R3 ) + (V2 − V1 ) · 1. Redraw a circuit containing k voltage or current sources into k seperate circuits where only one source is active and all others are zeroed. 3. ~ = [Z]I~ or The equations will ultimately fit into Ohm’s law: we will re-write the traditional matrix equation [A]~x = ~b as either V ~ ~ [Y ]V = I. we reduce the workload by nearly half (two circuits instead of four). A final comment on superposition: nearly every mainstream textbook on linear circuit analysis has a disclaimer that you cannot perform superposition on circuits containing controlled sources. we state the general steps necessary to solve any circuit using superposition. when we zero both current sources. Add the individual contributions to obtain the desired overall quantity. Other Linear techniques Another consequence of circuits as linear systems is that we may write systems of equations and employ linear algebra to solve. Figure 20 By solving the circuits in Figures 3. there is a single series loop containing two voltage sources. The same basic rules from linear algebra apply: the matrix [Z] or [Y ] must be invertible (have a non-zero determinant) for there to be a solution. where [Z] is the matrix of impedances ([Y ] is the matrix of admittances) relating voltages to currents. 4.9 Figure 19 Likewise. 1Leach: something . 2.19 and 3. This notion is false! 1 We will routinely use superposition when considering operational amplifier and transistor circuits. The overall solution is: R1 R1 + R 2 + R 3 To conclude the section. Remember: zero voltage sources are short circuits while zero current sources are open circuits. Solve for each sources’ contribution to the overall voltage or current using Ohm’s law and dividers as appropriate.

10 and you need as many independent equations as unknowns to fully solve. whose potentials can be taken relative to an arbitrary reference point. more importantly. we choose the node that has the most connections to other nodes in an attempt to simplify the equations). Figure 22 Be extremely careful to notice that a single node may have many points and connections. will not allow a difference in potential across it. so we define it as a single node. Figure 21 The most basic step is to define the nodes: we will first choose the ground node to be the one at the bottom since it is common to the most other nodes. We also draw on the fact that voltage is a conservative field.21. Similarly. which conducts current freely and. Consider the first circuit that we analyzed using superposition. Figure 23 . the ground node has three connections. and then solve with linear algebra (ideally using a computer). Example: Use node-voltage analysis to solve for the current through the 5Ω resistor in Figure 3. §3. yet is still a single node. and finally node B as the interface between the voltage source and 10 Ω resistor. The voltage at the point above the 3A source is always identical to the voltage above the 5Ω resistor. thus we will be allowed to define a ground node as 0 V (typically. oftentimes students will erroneously define two different nodes in place of node A. one above the 3A source and another above the 5Ω resistor. Those two points are directly connected by wire. node A as a connecting point between the two resistors and the current source.3: Node-Voltage Analysis Node-voltage analysis expands Kirchoff’s current law to write equations at each node in a circuit.

4 A 5Ω 2A great reference on linear algebra for solving linear systems of equations by hand is “Apostol: Linear Algebra” . Once the equations are set into a matrix. „ „ « « ~ = VA = [Y ]−1 · I~ = −7V V VB 9V I5 = VA = −1. First. you should be well versed in solving linear equations either by hand or with the aid of computation software.11 We will write two independent equations relating the unknown voltages at nodes A and B to the input sources and passive components. « « „ « „ „ 1 1 1 −3A VA + 10Ω − 10Ω 5Ω = · 9V VB 1 0 Notice that the elements of the matrix are simply the coefficients of the unknown node voltages. writing a KCL equation at node A (assume all currents to be leaving the node). we must solve for that quantity in terms of the. to solve a linear system consisting of two unknowns. VB − 0 = 9V Thus. you must have two independent equations (in general. Further. Writing the two equations together. or inverting the matrix.e. In general. Figure 24 The actual name for this treatment of the voltage source is that of a supernode. a matrix) to solve. we have a slew of choices how to solve: Gaussian elimination. 3A + VB − V A + I9V = 0 10Ω I9V =??? There is a way to bypass the indeterminate nature of the current through the voltage source: simply realize that KCL works for arbitrary black boxes (linear) as well. we end up with another KCL equation. so we will not cover those here. then they are also linearly dependent. taking the voltage source as a fixed potential between two points. and thus state that the current entering the voltage source is equal to the current leaving the voltage source. Cramer’s rule. now known. but we do know a very simple equation relating the two nodes having the voltage source between them. we obtain the final equation. node voltages. we obtain: VA − V B VA − 0 + =0 5Ω 10Ω Normally. we can form a linear system of equations (i. we would try to write a second equation at node B. you should check that the units of each element in the expression make sense (matrix multiplication being across a row of the matrix and down the column vector of the unknowns). the number of independent equations must equal the number of unknowns). VB − V A 0 − VA + + −3A = 0 10Ω 5Ω Simplifying this equation shows another interesting false start to node-voltage analysis: this equation is exactly the same as the one written at node A! Multiply both sides by a (−1) and you get the other equation. Writing the new equation. If the two equations are the same. When a specific variable is requested (we asked for the downward current in the 5 Ω resistor). We’ve exhausted the nodes at which to write KCL equations.2 Even so. we are not quite finished. but we find our first problem: we do not know the current into an ideal voltage source (the potential is fixed completely independent of the current flowing through the source).

VA + V x = V B Before writing any current equations. Req2 = R1 kR2 Req1 = R3 k(R4 + R5 + R6 ) R5 + R 6 VC = · VB R4 + R 5 + R 6 The simplified circuit is shown in Figure 3. and also collapse nodes C and D. we can write the last equation by inspection. VB VA + = Ix Req2 Req1 Putting everything together in matrix format. The fact that we are able to collapse the nodes means that we can write a dependent equation in terms of V A and VB for each node. VR1 = V A = V x · . Specifically. Figure 25 We start out by defining the bottom left node as ground (since it is common to the most other nodes). and then by writing the voltage equation at the supernode containing the voltage source. Req2 + Ix · Req1 kReq2 Req1 + Req2 Example: Use node-voltage analysis again to solve for all of the node voltages in Figure 3. or VA .12 Example: Use node-voltage analysis to solve for the voltage across R 1 in Figure 3.27.26. we have: ! „ « „ « 1 1 Ix VA Req2 Req1 = · −Vx VB 1 −1 The requested voltage across R1 is the same as the voltage across the equivalent Req2 .25. determine the voltage accross the 50Ω resistor. VD = R6 · VB R4 + R 5 + R 6 Figure 26 Using the reduced circuit (and a supernode in place of the voltage source). we will define two equivalent resistances.

As an exercise. we reduce the linear circuit to [Y ]V 0 1 B 0 B 1 @− 15 0 0 0 1 15 1 + 70 + 1 − 20 1 20 0 −1 1 − 20 1 20 1 0 1 0 1 0 VA 20 BVB C B10C 1C C·B C=B C 0 A @ VC A @ 0 A 1 VD 2 50 Not only does solving this system via nodal analysis result in the same node voltages that we obtained in the superposition analysis. we solve for the voltage across the 50Ω resistor. and then collect any impedances into equivalents. and so far two equations. respectively). you should verify the conservation of energy using the solution above (you will need to use the voltages across the 15 and 50 Ω resistors to obtain the currents in the 20 and 10 V sources. Combining the four equations into matrix format (we will now omit the units ~ = I. VA − 0 = 20 V VD − VC = 10 V Since we have four unknown voltages. . VB − V A VB − 0 VB − V C + + =0 15 Ω 70 Ω 20 Ω VD − 0 VC − V B + − 2A = 0 20Ω 50 Ω We have applied the supernode condition in the second equation: the current leaving node C into the voltage source is the same as the sum of the currents leaving node D. but the process finds all of the voltages at once! 0 1 0 1 VA 20 V B C B C ~ = BVB C = B 27.36 V Any circuit parameter that we wish to find is immediately available as a function of the node voltages.5 V C V @VC A @45.36 V A VD 55.36 V Trivially. we need to write two independent KCL equations as follows.13 Figure 27 The first step is to write the easy equations between nodes having voltage sources between them. Example: Use node-voltage analysis to solve for the voltage across R 1 in Figure 3.28. V50Ω = VD = 55. ~ since they cancel).

2. solve for the specific voltages or currents requested. Establish a ground or reference node. ~ of unknowns. . 7. After determining the vector V §3. Label remaining independent nodes – nodes are dependent if they can be written as a voltage divider times other node voltages. 4. For each remaining independent node. Combine impedances where possible. 3. plugging into a computer (ideal). The resulting set of equations are: VA − V C VA − V D + + I2 − I1 = 0 R1 R2 + R 3 R3 VD − 0 = V 2 VB = · (VA − VD ) R2 + R 3 with the matrix format (we need only consider the independent equations). Combine all KCL equations into the matrix format [Y ] · V elimination by hand. 5. mesh-current analysis is a method used to completely solve a linear circuit. we will now write KVL equations based on these unknown currents. or using Cramer’s rule.4: Mesh Current Analysis Similar to node-voltage analysis.14 Figure 28 There are three independent nodes (two of which form supernodes) and one dependent node (B). Possible solution methods include Gaussian 6. Summary of the steps for Node-Voltage analysis The basic steps in solving a circuit via node-voltage analysis are: 1. write one KCL equation. Consider the following examples. For each supernode. then the entries in your matrix will in practice have a minimal number of negative signs. write an equation for the fixed potential and collapse the node. ~ = I~ and solve. Everywhere that we wrote KCL equations before. but by using mesh or loop currents as the unknowns instead of node voltages. VC − 0 = V 1 0 @ 1 R1 + 1 R2 +R3 0 0 − R11 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 − R2 +R VA I1 − I 2 3 A · @ VC A = @ V1 A 0 VD V2 1 The voltage across R1 is then the difference of VA and VC . If you always take currents as leaving the node.

but a suggestion is to take all loop currents to be oriented clockwise (the matrices will again have a minimal number of minus signs). Instead. . the current downwards in the resistor is Ia − Ib . so the net current is just I b Ib · (10 Ω) + 9 V + (Ib − Ia ) · (5 Ω) = 0 ~. Also. so are unable to write a KVL equation containing the 2 Amp source. but opposite in sign. determine the voltage across the 50Ω resistor. Ia = −3 A For the other equation.15 Example: Use mesh-current analysis to solve for the current downwards in the 5Ω resistor. The net current through the 5Ω resistor is the difference of the currents Ia and Ib . while Ib is in the opposite direction and contributes negatively). or I5Ω = Ib − Ia . if we are considering a clockwise loop going upwards across the 5Ω resistor. they are quite useful for theoretical analysis. then the first sign of the voltage across the resistor is positive when the net current is taken upwards. Figure 30 We are unable to directly determine the voltage across a current source.4 A Example: Use mesh-current analysis to solve for the all of the currents in the circuit shown in Figure 3. The direction that the current flows (clockwise/counter-clockwise) is arbitrary. we obtain a matrix equation of the form [Z] · I~ = V „ « „ « „ « 1 0 Ia −3 · = Ib −5 10 + 5 −9 Which gives the solution: « „ « „ −3A Ia = I~ = −1.6A Ib We use this solution to calculate the current in the 5Ω resistor. to the 3 A current source. Figure 29 The loop currents Ia and Ib represent imaginary vortices of current: while they are not measurable in a laboratory. I5Ω = Ia − Ib = (−3) − (−1. we apply KVL around the second loop. we write a current equation relating the current source to I b and Ic (notice that Ic has the same direction as the 2 A source and thus contributes positively. As solved for previously.6) = −1.30. and we are going right to left for a clockwise loop. We will begin the analysis by seeing that the current Ia must be equal in magnitude. Putting these two equations together in matrix format. Ib is the only current in the 10Ω resistor.

we obtain another set of linear equations. notice that V50 = 50 Ω · Ic = 55.5A 0 −1 1 Ia @15 + 70 −70 0 A · @ Ib A = @20A =⇒ I~ = @−0.11A Ic −70 70 + 20 50 To compare this solution to our other methods.36V just as before. whose solution is the vector of unknown mesh currents. Req2 = R1 kR2 Ia · Req2 − Vx + Ib · Req1 = 0 Ib − I a = I x we can set up the appropriate matrix equation. „ Req2 −1 Req1 1 « „ « „ « Vx Ia = · Ix Ib .893AA 10 1. Figure 31 The first step is to determine how many equation we really need out of the four possible meshes: by combining the resistors into appropriate equivalents as before.16 Ic − I b = 2 A We then write our KVL equations such that they bypass the current source (also called creating a super-mesh). Figure 32 Req1 = R3 k(R4 + R5 + R6 ) Writing the two independent equations. 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 2 −0. −20 + 15 · Ia + 70 · (Ia − Ib ) = 0 70 · (Ib − Ia ) + 20 · Ib − 10 + 50 · Ic = 0 Combining these three equations into matrix format. Example: Solve for the voltage across R1 using mesh-current analysis. we can reduce the number of meshes to two.

Write one independent equation for each of the remaining meshes. Write equations for any meshes containing current sources. Draw and label as many mesh currents as necessary. calculator. or computer. Combining these equations 0 1 @ 0 −R1 0 1 R1 −V1 + R1 · (Ib − Ia ) + (R2 + R3 ) · Ic + V2 = 0 and solving yet another linear system. we obtain the currents in each of the meshes. Combine impedances where possible. VR1 = −Ia · R1 kR2 = Figure 33 The two current equations will eliminate the left loop and combine the larger loops. Superposition reduces the analysis of complicated circuits to simplified circuits (with zero-ed . Ia = I 1 Ib − I c = I 2 The remaining equation is obtained by a clockwise loop about the current source I 2 . 5. „ « Ia I~ = = Ib Vx −Ix ·Req1 Req1 +Req2 Vx +Ix ·Req2 Req1 +Req2 ! Notice that this solution yields the same expressions as when we solved by superposition and nodal analysis. 4. 3.33. 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 I1 0 Ia I1 B I R +I2 ·(R2 +R3 )+V1 −V2 C −1 A · @ Ib A = @ I2 A =⇒ I~ = @ 1 1 R A 1 +R2 +R3 V1 −V2 +(I1 −I2 )·R1 R2 + R 3 Ic V1 − V 2 R +R +R 1 2 3 Summary of the steps for Mesh-Current analysis The basic steps in solving a circuit via mesh-current analysis are: 1. but only when there is one power source. Ix · Req1 − Vx Req2 · Req2 = Ix · Req1 kReq2 − Vx · Req1 + Req2 Req1 + Req2 Example: Use mesh-current analysis to solve for the voltage across R1 in Figure 3. Solve the equations by hand. Voltage and current dividers work well. Determine the desired quantities using the resulting vector of current values. Replace with super-meshes as appropriate. we have seen three different analysis techniques for linear circuits. Comparison of Analysis Techniques So far.17 and finally solve. 2.

resistances.6: Thevinin Equivalents As stated previously. capacitors and inductors. Both the Thevinin and Norton equivalents could replace the original circuit without us being able to tell the difference from outside the circuit. The short-circuit current. The Thevinin equivalent of any linear circuit is defined as a voltage source in series with a single resistance (impedance) having the same terminal characteristics as the original circuit. analysis of perturbations.18 sources) where we can use dividers to calculate the contribution of each source to a single desired quantity. seen looking into the two terminals. unplug the box from the wall socket) and then measure the equivalent resistance. and desired form of outputs are just a few to consider. what happens if we want to use the circuit in a system. so we need a modeling technique that allows us replace the large circuits by much smaller. reducing the circuit as much as possible before analysing. We measure the open-circuit voltage. Node-voltage analysis uses KCL equations to determine all of the node voltages in a circuit. The two types of representations we introduce now are called Thevinin and Norton equivalents. §3. but neither solves directly for specific voltages or currents. is obtained by placing a short circuit across the output terminals and measuring the current flowing through it. we can determine both the Thevinin and Norton equivalents by making the three measurements shown in Figure 3. One remaining way to solve linear circuits is to create circuit equivalents (containing both impedances and power sources). analysis of circuits can take the form of any combination of these methods. With this information. equivalent circuits.5: Equivalent Circuits Now that we know the basic steps to analyze a circuit.). the goal of solving for a Thevinin equivalent is to reduce a large circuit into an externally equivalent circuit consisting of only a single voltage source in series with an impedance. Rth (impedance denoted Zth ). Node/mesh analyses do however provide all the information in the circuit at once. Voc . Isc . and mesh-current analysis uses KVL equations to determine all the mesh currents. while a Norton equivalent is defined by a current source in parallel with the same Thevinin resistance (impedance). From this box. etc. still with identical terminal characteristics. . as the terminal voltage with nothing connected to the output (hence the open circuit). §3. especially if that system changes? Common devices as seemingly simple as an alarm clock may consist of hundreds of circuit elements. The final measurement is to zero all of the sources inside the box (for a real device. access to computing tools. open or short circuits.34. and much easier to calculate. Strictly speaking. These values may then be used to construct each of our Thevinin and Norton equivalent circuits. the question becomes: how do you choose which method to use in solving a circuit? We will explore various factors that affect which method we use: time. Figure 34 The first two measurements are with the black box connected to whatever sources that power the circuit elements. Consider the proverbial black box that has two output terminals and consists of any unknown number of linear circuit components (sources.

we may use any of the circuit analysis techniques learned previously. Zth .36. The three circuits in Figure 3. For similar reasons. resulting in a true open circuit at the dashed lines.37 show the decomposition of Figure 3. and we are only looking for one specific voltage: superposition will be the best choice. Figure 37 The trickiest of the three sub-circuits is the third one: since no current is able to flow through the open circuit. whose potential is then added in series to the potential difference of the 10V source. Example: Calculate the Thevinin or open-circuit voltage and the Thevinin impedance to the left of the 50 Ω resistor in Figure 3.36 into sub-circuits with only one source active. This results in a zero voltage across the resistors. Figure 36 The first step is to designate what is inside the black box we are trying to model and what is outside the box.19 Figure 35 The value of the voltage source is equal to the open-circuit or Thevinin voltage. . As designated on the schematic. and thus Voc is the same as the voltage across the 70Ω resistor. we are looking for the Thevinin equivalent to the left of the dashed line. there is zero current in any of the resistors. To calculate this open-circuit voltage. This specifically means that the 50 Ω resistor is not to be considered part of the circuit for modeling purposes. We calculate the contributions from each source to the voltage Voc and add these contributions to obtain the total Voc . Verify that the equivalent circuit produces the same voltage V50 as before. The 10 V source does not contribute any current to the rest of the circuit (due to its placement in series with an open circuit). and the impedance is the Thevinin impedance. V oc . there is no current flowing in the 20Ω resistor in the first circuit.

Figure 3. we form a series combination of V oc and Rth and replace everything to the left of the original dashed line with our new equivalent. which should be the same voltage we solved for in previous examples.35 Ω Putting these two parameters together. What happens if we then want to add/remove a speaker? Each of the other numerical analyses performed would be useless once an impedance value is changed.18 V 70 + 15 To calculate the Thevinin resistance (impedance). we can calculate the voltage V50 . 50 = 55.38 shows the circuit with all sources zeroed.36 V 50 + Rth Now why in the world did we go through that much work to obtain the same answer as before? Consider a case where the left side of our circuit (for which we obtained the Thevinin equivalent) is a stereo amplifier and the 50 Ω resistor is a collection of speakers that we want to hook up. and then we will explore the V50 = Voc . Figure 39 How do we check if this new “equivalent” circuit truly has the same effect as the original? Reconnecting the 50 Ω resistor as a load onto the new circuit. Rth = (20 + 15k70) Ω = 32. and solve for the equivalent impedance looking into the two terminals. Let’s try a few more examples. whereas the Thevinin equivalent makes the calculation easy in any case. simply recalculate the voltage divider at the end. Figure 40 Using a single voltage divider. we zero all of the independent sources. Voc = Voc20V + Voc2A + Voc10V = Figure 38 By inspection.20 70 · (20V ) + (2A) · (20 + 15k70)Ω + (10V ) = 91.

we calculate −1. and Zth by zeroing all of the sources. Voc = 9V + (−3A) · 10Ω = −21V Zth = 10Ω To calculate the voltage across a load resistor connected to the output nodes. . this circuit is harder to conceptualize. Repeat the solution with the 5Ω resistor changed to 25Ω.4A and −0.41. We may redraw the circuit without the 5Ω resistor and stretch out the nodes for better visualization. we attach an arbitrary load. and use Ohm’s law to get the current.6A.43.21 relationships between methods in more depth. Figure 42 Solving for Voc by superposition. respectively. Example: Use a Thevinin equivalent circuit to solve for the current through the 5Ω resistor in Figure 3. Example: Consider the bridge circuit in Figure 3. R load . Figure 41 Although smaller.44: determine the voltage across R 5 . Figure 43 −21V 10Ω + Rload For load resistors of 5Ω and 25Ω. we obtain the values for the Thevinin equivalent. as shown in Figure 3. Thevinin and Norton equivalents provide a new method that works where others fail. IRload = Some circuits simply have no easy solution with the previous techniques discussed.

If we remember that potentials are the same anywhere along a node. removing the connections will not affect our analysis of the circuit. Figure 45 With identical potentials at both the top and bottom nodes. . shown in Figure 3. but the solution will be extremely tedious.22 Figure 44 Initially. we can simplify the circuit by splitting the voltage source into two parallel sources of the same value. we can see that there will be no current flowing at the top of R 1 and R2 or below R3 and R4 .45. the options look rather bleak. Therefore. node-voltage analysis will work.

and then replace to solve for VR5 .47. Figure 47 The resulting circuit with Thevinin equivalents inserted shows a single series loop from which to calculate V R5 . Both sides solve as in Figure 3.23 Figure 46 Now we’re in business: take Thevinin equivalents to the right and left of R5 . Figure 48 .

is calculated by externally applying a short circuit to the two nodes and then measuring the current across the short. and the impedance is again called the Thevinin impedance (for reasons we shall see). The short-circuit current. Isc . The Thevinin impedance is calculated the same way as before: zero all independent sources and find the equivalent impedance lookinig into the two terminals. . We will solve for the short circuit current (via superposition) flowing between the two output nodes. Figure 50 Let’s find the Norton equivalent to the left of the 50Ω resistor.50.7: Norton Equivalents A Norton equivalent is the other equivalent where we reduce any linear circuit to a single current source in parallel with an impedance. Figure 49 The current is termed either the Norton current or the short-circuit current.24 VR5 = V · [ R3 R4 R5 − ]· R1 + R 3 R2 + R4 R1 kR3 + R5 + R2 kR4 §3. Example: Use a Norton equivalent circuit to calculate the voltage across the 50Ω resistor in Figure 3.

When calculating the equivalent impedance for the total current out of the 20V source. notice that the two resistors are in parallel due to the addition of the external short circuit. not left into the equivalency nodes. The third circuit is a single application of Ohm’s law. so all of the current goes through the short circuit. The second circuit is easy: current takes the path of least resistance. we find the voltage across the 50Ω resistor. V50 = Isc · (Rth k50) = 55.818 A 20 + 70 (15 + 20k70) Ω (15k70 + 20) Ω Now. In the first circuit. . to the right of R 1 . we redraw as the Norton equivalent circuit. Figure 52 To verify our calculations. we zero all of the independent sources and calculate the Thevinin impedance. we consider the impedance looking right from the voltage source. Zth = 20 + 15k70 = 32.25 Figure 51 Some of the divider terms are tricky at first glance.35Ω Putting these two terms together. calculate the current into the 20Ω resistor as a divider between the 20 and 70 Ω resistors.35 V We again see an immediate benefit of the equivalent circuit: responses may be easily calculated for any load resistor! Example: Calculate the Norton equivalent of the circuit shown in Figure 3.53. and then us the equivalent to determine the voltage VR1 . Isc = 20V 10V 70 · + (2A) + = 2.

Figure 55 We will solve for the voltage VR1 in order to verify equivalency. and begin using superposition to solve for the short circuit current.55. Figure 54 Solving for the Norton equivalent values: Isc = Ix + −Vx Req1 Zth = R2 kReq1 The resulting Norton equivalent with R1 reattached is shown in Figure 3. followed by the Thevinin impedance.56. VR1 = Isc · (Rth kR1 ) = (Ix + R1 kR2 −V x ) · (R1 kR2 kReq1 ) = Ix · Req1 kR1 kR2 + (−Vx ) · Req1 Req1 + R1 kR2 Example: Use a Norton equivalent circuit to solve for the current through the 5Ω resistor in Figure 3. .26 Figure 53 We reduce the circuit by taking the equivalent resistance of the right side.

1 A Zth = 10 Ω 10Ω Replacing the 5Ω resistor and calculating a current divider. we obtain the expressions for short circuit current (oriented downward) and Thevinin impedance. Figure 57 9V = −2. Isc = I1 − I2 + V2 − V 1 R2 + R 3 Zth = R2 + R3 .1A) = −1.4A 10 + 5 Example: Use a Norton equivalent circuit to solve for the voltage across R 1 in Figure 3. we may calculate our two parameters: I sc and Zth . we obtain the current I 5 .57.58. I5 = Figure 58 Using superposition again (with a short circuit in place of R1 ). Isc = (−3A) + 10 · (−2.27 Figure 56 Replacing the 5Ω resistor by a short circuit in Figure 3.

but we are going to systematically perform source transformations from the far left until we have completed the equivalent. let’s again consider the circuit shown in Figure 3. Consider the two circuits in Figure 3. Rth = Zth Voc = Zth Isc Isc = Voc Zth Thus to find both equivalent circuits. This transformation can often simplify circuits dramatically. then they should also be equivalent to each other. . not pictured. and Zth ) is the equivalent impedance. the surest oc to the calculated value of Zth . In practice.60 for which we found Thevinin and Norton equivalents.59. of the three quantities (Voc . method is to calculate both Voc and Isc and then compare the ratio VIsc Converting a single voltage source in series with an impedance to current source in parallel with the same impedance is called a source transformation. and thereby the least likely to generate errors. Vx = Isc · R1 k(R2 + R3 ) = (I1 − I2 ) · R1 k(R2 + R3 ) + (V2 − V1 ) · R1 R1 + R 2 + R 3 §3. we shall find a direct relation between them. Figure 59 By taking the Thevinin equivalent of the Norton equivalent.8: Duality of Equivalents: Source Transformations We have so far derived two entirely different methods for modeling a large linear circuit as a simple “equivalent. The easiest. The first step will be a source transformation for the series combination of 20 V voltage source and 15 Ω resistor. and likewise taking the Norton equivalent of the Thevinin equivalent. we only need to find one of the equivalents and then convert to the other.61.28 And then finally solve for the voltage Vx . shown in Figure 3. As a result. Figure 60 We still want to find the Thevinin/Norton equivalent to the left of the dashed line. which we will take to be the Thevinin and Norton equivalents of yet a third circuit. this property allows us to build in another verification step to tell us whether our analysis is correct.” if both methods produce circuits equivalent to the original. Isc .

62. Figure 62 We now have the 15 and 70 Ω resistors in parallel.29 Figure 61 V Taking the Norton equivalent of just the 20V source and the 15Ω resistor.33 A source).63. we see a new simplification: two current sources in parallel. we obtain the circuit shown in Figure 3. creating an equivalent impedance of 12.35 Ω.35Ω resistor in parallel with 1. and the same 15 Ω impedance.333 A. Figure 63 Absorbing the 20 Ω resistor and taking one more source transformation. we calculate a short-circuit current I sc = 20 = 15 Ω 1. Substituting this equivalent into the circuit. we obtain the one shown in Figure 3. Reversing the source transformation procedure with the new impedance (taking a Thevinin equivalent of the 12. .

we obtain two series voltage sources (which add directly) and a single impedance. Transforming one last time. as before and a single transformation to the right of the current source. Figure 66 Using the same equivalent resistance. Example: Determine the Norton equivalent to the right of R1 in the circuit shown in Figure 3. so we are in effect absorbing the current source into our model. Figure 65 We shall consider one more example of using source transformations to reduce a circuit.30 Figure 64 The two current sources add directly. which is the overall Thevinin equivalent and the same equivalent circuit we obtained previously.66. Req1 = R3 k(R4 + R5 + R6 ). . we nearly end up with the overall Norton equivalent.

nodal or mesh analysis. 4. the steps used to find the Thevinin and Norton equivalents of a circuit are: 1. The most common goal in electronics is to transfer information with the least loss in the signal: in circuits. Figure 68 The power transferred to the load is a product of its current and voltage (other forms give the same result). Replace the larger circuit by its calculated equivalent and proceed with any external load calculations. Solve for Voc and Isc using any method desired: superposition.31 Figure 67 Combining parallel current sources and resistances. this goal translates to delivering the maximum amount of power possible to a load. §3. How do we achieve such maximum power transfer? Consider a loaded Thevinin equivalent. as shown in Figure 3. At any point. The equivalent circuits are wonderful mathematical tools for modeling a system. We may write this power as: Pload = Vth · Rload Vth · Rth + Rload Rth + Rload . but this convenience does come at a cost: tracking variables internal to the collapsed circuit is nearly impossible. etc. we obtain the same equivalent as before. where both the Thevinin impedance and the load are purely real (resistors). In general. making sure they line up with the polarity/direction of the desired equivalent. The equivalent circuit derived at one two-port junction will be different than another two elements away. Separate those elements that are part of the equivalent and those that are external. but in only two simple steps! One word of caution: equivalent circuits as with any other “equivalent” are not the same thing as the original. 3. Clearly label the polarity of V oc and the direction of Isc .9: Maximum Power Transfer We have stated that both Thevinin and Norton equivalents can be used to model a linear circuit for use in calculating responses due to many loads. By no means does this realization make Thevinin or Norton equivalents unimportant–we simply see that Norton/Thevinin equivalents are suitable for some applications and not others. you may wish to employ a source transformation to reduce the circuit to a simpler form. 2.68.

Next. . §3. for example the bridge configuration.75 A)2 · 20 Ω = = 2. To obtain the equivalent resistances of these circuits. You will often hear electrical engineers speak of “impedance matching:” one of the most common errors in system design is for subsystems to have an impedance mismatch. Consider the properties of an ideal voltage source. Rth = R + 2 + 0 = 10 Ω =⇒ R = 8Ω Notice that zeroing the voltage sources also shorts out the 15 Ω resistor. P10 Ω = (4 V )2 (0. to find the power delivered.4 A)2 · 10 Ω = = 0. The idea of maximum power transfer and impedance matching drives good circuit design. have no series or parallel components. we may express the equivalent resistance (impedance) as a quasi-ratio of a open-circuit voltage and short-circuit current.4 W 4 · 10 Ω 4 Exercise: Explain why the 15 Ω resistor in the previous circuit played no part in the analysis or solution. resulting in the zero term above. Voc = (2 V ) + (1 A) · (2 Ω) = 4 V Isc = (2 V ) 2 + (1 A) · = 0. find the Thevinin resistance and set it equal to the 10 Ω to ensure maximum power transfer. we determine the power delivered to a 20 Ω load resistor. P20 Ω = (15 V )2 (0. we must try a new method besides successive parallel and series equivalents. We will come back to this idea in discussions of complex power and system integration.81 W 4 · 20 Ω 4 Example: What is the value of R in Figure 3.75 A = 6 + 15k30 15 + 30 6k30 + 15 Voc = (12 V ) · Isc With these values calculated. If we use our knowledge of Thevinin and Norton equivalent circuits. respectively. thereby wasting electrical power. More exactly. assuming that the 10 Ω load resistor was chosen for maximum power transfer? How much power is delivered? Figure 71 To determine R. find either the open-circuit voltage or the short circuit current.10: Equivalent Resistance Revisited We have seen that some configurations of resistances (impedances).4 A 2+8 2+8 and calculate the power. we attach a 1V voltage source or a 1A current source and test for the current or voltage.33 30 + (1 A) · (6k30) = 15 V 30 + 6 6k30 (12 V ) 30 · + (1 A) · = 0.71.

to then determine the equivalent resistance. 6k(25 + 5) · 1 A = 5 V . With 1A through the 10 Ω resistor. Req . Let’s begin by considering a simple example that could be solved using the original method. or the numerical value of the inverse of the current IT will be the same as the equivalent resistance (impedance).74. is then numerically identical to the equivalent resistance of 15 Ω.73. VT = (1A) · Req =⇒ Req = VT = VT [Ω] 1A IT = (1V ) Req =⇒ Req = 1V 1 = [Ω] IT IT The bracket notation attached to the final answer is to remind you of the appropriate units associated with the quantities. The problem is that we cannot do this directly: instead we will repeat our previous solution for the voltages at nodes C and D (using Thevinin equivalents to the left and right of R5 ). Clearly. This total voltage.34 Figure 72 The numerical value of the induced voltage. VT . . Example: Use the more generalized solution method to determine the equivalent resistance of the circuit in Figure 3. Figure 74 First. we attach a 1V test source to the terminals. 15V. but let us consider again the resistance of the Wheatstone bridge circuit shown in Figure 3. the last example used a more round-about approach to solving for the equivalent resistance than introduced previously. we must measure the current flowing out of the source which is identical to the sum of the currents flowing into R 1 and R3 . we see a 10V voltage in series with the voltage across the rest of the elements. Figure 73 Solution: Choosing a 1A current source as an input to the circuit. we will test for the corresponding voltage across the two terminals.

we calculate the voltages at nodes C and D..738 V VD = ( 2+5 1+4 2+5 1k4 + 3 + 2k5 Returning to the original circuit. returning to the original circuit.89 Ω 1+2+3 The two solutions are identical. we may calculate the currents down through R 1 and R3 . the overall equivalent resistance may be calculated.131A 1Ω 2Ω We then calculate a total current from the voltage source of IT = 0. I1 Ω = Req = (1 V ) = 2. and show that both representations work. I T = I R1 + I R3 Req = Example: Determine the equivalent resistance of the bridge circuit in Figure 3. I R1 = R5 · (R1 kR3 ) + R1 R3 1 [Ω] = . Figure 75 Attaching a 1V test source. we will present one numerical example. 3 + 2k5 5 4 5 V)+( − )V · = 0. VC = ( (1 V ) − (0. = + R2 kR4 IT R1 + R 3 + R 5 We will not waste space with massaging the algebraic formulation into the closed form. but you should notice that roundoff errors due to truncating values CAN affect the final answer.90 Ω (0. as in any engineering calculation. Req = ..738 V ) (1 V ) − (0.787 V 2+5 1+4 2+5 1k4 + 3 + 2k5 2k5 4 5 5 V)+( − )V · = 0.213A I2 Ω = = 0.. we calculate the current into the 1 Ω and 2 Ω resistors.787 V ) = 0.344 A. 3 · (1k2) + 1 · 2 + 4k5 = 2..75. Finally.35 » – R5 + R3 kR4 R2 R4 R4 + (1 V ) · − · R3 + R 4 R1 + R 2 R3 + R 4 R1 kR2 + R3 kR4 + R5 » – R3 kR4 R2 R4 R4 + (1 V ) · − = (1 V ) · · R3 + R 4 R1 + R 2 R3 + R 4 R1 kR2 + R3 kR4 + R5 VC = (1 V ) · VD Now..344 A) We compare this to the closed-form solution to verify. rather. VA − V D VA − V C I R3 = R1 R3 and then add them using a Kirchoff’s Current Law equation at node A to obtain the current through the voltage source and our equivalent resistance.

we state two well-known. We will see that fundamental concepts like equivalent resistances as well as voltage and current dividers are used over and over. The individual concepts are in practice extraordinarily simple: Ohm’s law is just V = I R. but relatively simple. . The first set of examples uses a large. We have derived all of the analysis to come up with these results in previous examples.76. but rarely used. results for converting to and from the ∆ and Y configurations of generic impedances shown in Figure 3.11: Linear Circuit Examples Without a doubt. Putting the concepts together to solve any particular circuit is a more difficult task. the prerequisite to truly understanding linear circuits is practice. We complete this rather long discourse on solving linear circuits by giving two more basic circuits and solving with each of the methods presented.77. and Kirchoff’s laws are simple sums. Figure 76 Z1 Z3 Z1 + Z 2 + Z 3 Z2 Z3 ZB = Z1 + Z 2 + Z 3 Z1 Z2 ZC = Z1 + Z 2 + Z 3 ZA ZB + Z A ZC + Z B ZC ZB ZA ZB + Z A ZC + Z B ZC Z2 = ZA ZA ZB + Z A ZC + Z B ZC Z3 = ZC Z1 = ZA = ⇐⇒ §3. explain how you would modify the previous analysis for two bridge circuits in parallel (hint: think about the step where KCL is applied)? Delta-Wye Transforms To conclude our discussion on equivalent resistances (impedances). power is P = I V .36 Exercise: In many power systems. linear circuit shown in Figure 3. but have omitted the algebraic mess. bridge circuit are used on a regular basis.

5 A) · Example: Next. is shown in Figure 3.958 V . Figure 79 = 2. We solve by zeroing all but one source at a time.78 shows each of the four circuits with only one source activated. Vx = Vx0.225 V ) + (4.268 V ) + (−4. The redrawn circuit. setup and solve the necessary node-voltage equations to obtain V x .648 V ) = (0. Figure 78 Each of the individual circuits reduces to a voltage or current divider. with all nodes labeled. adding up to obtain the voltage V x .79.5 A + Vx15 V + Vx1 A + Vx22 V 6k(8 + 12) 12 · (6k50 Ω) + (15 V ) · 12 + (8 + 6k50) 6k(8 + 12) + 50 6k50 8 + 12 + (−1 A) · · (6k50 Ω) + (22 V ) · 8 + 12 + 6k50 6k50 + 8 + 12 = (1. and finally adding the contributions to determine the total voltage Vx . solve for the equivalent voltage Vx across the 6 Ω resistor.268 V ) + (1. calculating the contribution of each source to the voltage V xi . Figure 3.37 Figure 77 Example: To start out.

. as compared to the 2.028 V VB = −19. with all meshes labeled. V X . is the same as node voltage VC .5 A VD = 15 V + (1 A) + + =0 12 8 8 6 50 and then compute the four node voltages.80.714 V ) + (4. VA VA − V B VB − V A VC VC − V D + = 0. You should readily notice that the desired unknown.958 V found previously (identical within roundoff).5 A I2 = 1.5 A) · [12k(8 + 50) Ω] · = 10 V and the equivalent resistance is calculated by first zeroing all the sources and then finding the equivalent.2521 A I4 = −0.2408 A Vx = (I3 − I4 ) · (6 Ω) = 2. VC − VB = 22 V VA = −9.954 V. let’s find Vx using a Thevinin equivalent. I1 = 0. setup and solve the necessary mesh-current equations to solve for V x .81.954 V VD = 15 V We see that the node voltage VC is 2. (8 + 12) 50 50 + (−1 A) · [(8 + 12)k50 Ω] + (22 V ) · + (15 V ) · 8 + 50 50 + (12 + 8) 50 + (8 + 12) = (4.5 A (I2 − I1 ) · (12 Ω) + I2 · (8 Ω) − 22 V + (I3 − I4 ) · (6 Ω) = 0 I2 − I 3 = 1 A (I4 − I3 ) · (6 Ω) + I4 · (50 Ω) + (15 V ) = 0 and solving to obtain Vx I1 = 0.286 V ) + (15. we remove the 6 Ω resistor from the circuit and proceed to find the open circuit voltage (via superposition) and the Thevinin equivalent resistance as shown in Figure 3. To do so.2521 A I3 = 0.046 V VC = Vx = 2. Example: Now.597 V Example: Next.286 V ) + (−14. The redrawn circuit. Figure 80 Writing the equations for the four meshes. Figure 81 The open circuit voltage is obtained by superposition.286 V ) Voc = (0. is shown in Figure 3.38 We write the four equations necessary to solve.

958 V Example: The final method to solve this circuit is to use source transformations. we reduce it to the one shown in Figure 3.82.39 Zth = 50k(8 + 12) = 14. and 3. but this time attach a short circuit in its place as shown in Figure 3. 3. Once again. Figure 83 Three more iterations shown in Figures 3.286 + 6 Example: One more method available is to use the Norton equivalent circuit. we iteratively reduce the circuit to either a Thevinin or Norton equivalent.85.86 give the same Norton equivalent as solve for previously. (22 V ) (15 V ) 12 + (−1 A) + + 8 + 12 (8 + 12) Ω 50 Ω = (0. Find the Norton equiavlent and then use Ohm’s law to determine the voltage Vx . Figure 82 Using superposition one last time. Taking the original circuit.1 A) + (0. Vx = Isc · (Zth k6) = (0.958 V Zth + 6 14.83.7 A and then solve for the voltage across the parallel equivalent of Thevinin resistance (same as before) and the 6 Ω resistor.7 A) · (14.3 A) + (−1 A) + (1. Performing one source transformation on both the left and the right side of the circuit.3 A) Isc = (0.286k6 Ω) = 2.84.5 A) · = 0. we remove the 6 Ω resistor. we solve for the short circuit current. . Care has been taken to make sure that the positive direction of Isc corresponds to the proper polarity for Vx .286 Ω The final calculation is to use a voltage divider for the voltage Vx across the replaced 6 Ω resistor. Vx = Voc · 6 6 = (10 V ) · = 2.

87 using each of the circuit methods. Figure 87 . we calculate the voltage Vx . The analysis for the various methods will actually be less involved.40 Figure 84 Figure 85 Figure 86 With the final step.7 A) · (14. Vx = (0.958 V Exercise: What are the benefits/limitations for each of the methods presented in this section? We will repeat the full analysis for a second circuit that contains a number of transparent tricks.286k6 Ω) = 2. Example: Solve for the voltage Vx across the 15Ω resistor in Figure 3. but require you to see fundamental simplification.

The circuit has 5 independent meshes. The circuit has 6 independent sources. 12V. The 3V. we should take a moment to guesstimate what the overall characteristics will be: 1.88. by far the easiest method to solve this circuit would be source transformations in combination with superposition. . 2. so superposition will require solving four separate circuits. yet only one current source for a simple equation. Any value of resistance can be used for these two without changing other circuit variables. 5. but three voltage sources that will make for simple node equations. Figure 88 To calculate the voltage Vx . Superposition: We repeat the same process as before to solve the circuit by superposition. Although non-trivial to determine. The 4Ω resistor in series with the current source and the 8Ω resistor in parallel with the 3V voltage source will not affect any of the other circuit variables. the voltage across a current source and the current through a voltage source are indeterminate. while the 22V source will contribute to a downward current and a positive V x . 4. we take each contribution and then add them up. We will comment on these observations in more details as we proceed. and 1A will contribute to current flowing upwards in the 15Ω resistor (creating a negative contribution to Vx ). The four simplified circuits with a single source active are shown in Figure 3. 3. but simplify by removing the 4Ω resistor (shorting to 0Ω) and the 8Ω resistor (opening to ∞ Ω) when redrawing the equivalent circuits. 6. The circuit has four independent sources.41 Before we begin the analyses.

we label the meshes as shown in Figure 3.04 V Mesh Current Analysis: First.77 V VB = −2.77 V VC = 8. VE = −3 V . The current through the 4Ω resistor is the same as the 1A source VA − V B + (1 A) = 0 4Ω while the potential difference between node E and ground is just the voltage source.42 6 · (15k30 Ω) = −3. but can quickly show that they do not affect the remainder of the circuit.182 V Vx22 V = (22 V ) · 30 + 15k(6 + 2k10) 2k(6 + 15k30) 15k30 Vx12 V = (−12 V ) · · = −1.90. Writing the equations to solve for the node voltages (taking all currents leaving the nodes).396 V 6 + 10k2 + 15k30 15k30 Vx3 V = (−3 V ) · = −1.698 V 15k30 + 10k2 + 6 15k(6 + 2k10) = 3.132 V 10 + 2k(6 + 15k30) 6 + 15k30 Vx = Vx1 A + Vx3 V + Vx22 V + Vx12 V = −3. (1 A) + VA = −6. Figure 89 We have left the 4Ω and 8Ω resistors in the circuit.04 V Vx = VD = −3. but the results are identical.04 V Vx1 A = (−1 A) · Node-Voltage Analysis: We label the nodes as shown in Figure 3. choosing the bottom node as ground. VE − 0 = (−3 V ) Changing the values of these two resistors will change either the current through (the 8Ω) or the voltage across (the 4Ω) the resistors. VE − 0 = (−3 V ) VC − VD = (12 V ) VF − 0 = (22 V ) VB − V E VB − V D VB − V C VD − V B VC − V B VD − 0 VD − V F + + =0 + + + =0 6 2 10 2 10 15 30 Solving 5 equations simultaneously is a pain.89.96 V VD = −3.

first take the previous expression for V x using superposition 0 and including the 15Ω resistor (which we call Voc ). Voc . I1 = −1 A I2 = −1.835 A and the overall solution for Vx . we will solve them together. We first remove the 15Ω resistor from the circuit and solve for the open circuit voltage. across the terminals using superposition.43 Figure 90 Disregarding the 8Ω resistor. we obtain the four mesh currents. or an open circuit. resulting in the four equations: I1 = −(1 A) (I2 − I3 ) · 2 + I2 · 10 + (12 V ) = 0 (3 V ) + (I3 − I1 ) · 6 + (I3 − I2 ) · 2 + (I3 − I4 ) · 15 = 0 (I4 − I3 ) · 15 + I4 · 30 + (22 V ) = 0 Solving these equations. To show this modification in a little more detail.044 V Thevinin and Norton Equivalents Now we will repeat the solution for the voltage Vx using both Thevinin and Norton equivalent circuits.173 A I3 = −1. Figure 91 The solution of Voc in this circuit is identical to the analysis of the original circuit with the 15Ω resistor increased to ∞ Ω. since the two methods are so close to one another. Vx = (I3 − I4 ) · (15 Ω) = −3. we end up with four meshes.038 A I4 = −0. .

in parallel with any finite resistor is just the resistor. we determine the voltage Vx as a voltage divider with the Thevinin equivalent circuit.44 0 Voc = (−1 A) · 1A 6 · (15k30 Ω) = −3.593 V 10 + 2k(6 + ∞k30) 6 + ∞k30 10 + 2k(6 + 30) 6 + 30 Voc = Voc1 A + Voc3 V + Voc22 V + Voc12 V = −4.698 V 15k30 + 10k2 + 6 0 Voc = (22 V ) · 22 V 15k(6 + 2k10) = 3. we will repeat to find the short circuit current of the circuit shown in Figure 3.106 Ω Finally. The equivalent resistance of an open circuit (∞ Ω) in series with any finite resistor is the open circuit. 15 15 = (−4.479 V 30 + ∞k(6 + 2k10) 30 + (6 + 2k10) Voc12 V = (−12 V ) · 2k(6 + ∞k30) ∞k30 2k(6 + 30) 30 · = (−12 V ) · · = −1.779 V 6 + 10k2 + ∞k30 6 + 10k2 + 30 Voc3 V = (−3 V ) · ∞k30 30 = (−3 V ) · = −2. we need to determine the Thevinin resistance as seen from the two terminals with all sources zeroed: looking right.043 V Rth + 15 6.389 V ∞k30 + 10k2 + 6 30 + 10k2 + 6 Voc22 V = (22 V ) · ∞k(6 + 2k10) (6 + 2k10) = (22 V ) · = 4.92.106 + 15 Without a doubt. this circuit was much easier to solve with the original application of superposition! For completeness.132 V 10 + 2k(6 + 15k30) 6 + 15k30 0 Now we replace each 15Ω term with ∞ Ω to obtain Voc from Voc .282 V Before having the answer for Vx . Voc1 A = (−1 A) · 6 6 · (∞k30 Ω) = (−1 A) · · (30 Ω) = −4. .282 V ) · = −3. the most straightforward method is to simply use superposition to add up the individual sources’ contributions.396 V 6 + 10k2 + 15k30 0 Voc = (−3 V ) · 3V 15k30 = −1. we see 6 + 10k2 Ω (the 4Ω is swamped by the open circuit of the zeroed current source and the 8Ω resistor is killed by the zeroed 3V voltage source).182 V 30 + 15k(6 + 2k10) 0 Voc = (−12 V ) · 12 V 2k(6 + 15k30) 15k30 · = −1. we see a 30Ω resistor and to the left. Rth = 30k(6 + 10k2) = 6. Vx = Voc · Figure 92 Again.

We found that the Norton equivalent method requires roughly the same amount of work as the original superposition solution. many extra steps. many. the 4Ω and 8Ω resistors do not affect the rest of the circuit. we perform a source transformation on each of these terms simultaneously. Vx = Isc · (Rth k15) = (−0. Hybrid Source Transformations and Superposition First of all. obtaining the circuit in Figure 3.046 V Question: Why can you not modify the superposition solution for Vx to solve for Isc ?3 One hint is to consider the voltage across a short circuit. take another look at the original circuit. .391 A) + (0. you will begin to see how the methods can be intermixed for quicker solutions. of these circuits. After working many. Our last example will be a hybrid method of source transformations (single-stage Thevinin or Norton equivalent) and superposition.783 A) + (−0.702 A and then apply Ohm’s law to determine the voltage Vx across the parallel combination of same Rth calculated before and the replaced 15Ω resistor. you may divide the entire expression for V as derived using superposition by the 15Ω resistor and then take the x limit of the entire expression as the 15Ω → 0Ω. We then notice that we have three instances of single voltage sources in series with singular resistances.702 A) · (6.261 A) + (−0. so we throw them away (shorting the 4Ω and opening the 8Ω). Figure 94 3Although practically useless.106k15 Ω) = −3. Figure 93 As previously discussed.94.733 A) Isc = (−1 A) · = −0. but will be forced to use L’Hopital’s rule and many.45 6 −12 V 2 −3 V 22 V + · + + 6 + 10k2 10 + 2k6 2 + 6 2k10 + 6 30 = (−0.

Figure 95 From this point forwards. Node-voltage and mesh-current analyses make possible simultaneous solution of all linear circuit variables by transforming multiple applications of Kirchoff’s laws into linear systems of equations. P = IV . Superposition allows you to decompose a circuit containing multiple sources into multiple circuits (having only a single source) that make linear contributions to the overall circuit quantities. node voltages can be easily measured in a lab and solved by a computer. Thevinin and Norton equivalents. and digital circuits discussed throughout the remainder of the text relies on these four basic concepts. » Vx = (10 Ω) · (−1.2 A) · + (0. No manual. More often than not. The bottom line in understanding how to solve a linear circuit is practice. analog. the two circuit equivalents help determine how an entire circuit will contribute when attached to an external load.667) 1. we choose superposition since the expression can be written by inspection and without redrawing the circuit any further (you can easily visualize the zeroed current sources by completely detaching them). superposition and source transformations will require roughly the same amount of effort. Finally. Thevinin and Norton equivalents are a circuit modeling technique providing a simple circuit. textbook or professor can tell you anything beyond V = IR. and source transformations. node-voltage and mesh-current analyses.12: Summary In this chapter.667) + 10 Exercise: What characteristics of the circuit cause each of the methods to be easier or harder? §3. Node-voltage analysis is the most computationally efficient way to solve an entire circuit. Superposition is perhaps the most anaytically straightforward. where a single voltage source in series with a resistance is transformed into a current source in parallel with a resistor. while superposition is often better for a single circuit variable. Note that the “ground node” is simply a or potential energy reference defined to be zero. or vice versa. A final comment is that mesh currents are not physically measurable quantities. or sums of currents and voltages being zero at a node or in a closed loop. either a single voltage source in series with a resistor or a single current source in parallel with a resistor. Ohm’s law is reinterpreted in a matrix form: either V¯ = [R] · I¯ or I¯ = [G] · V¯ . Source transformations are a special case of Thevinin and Norton equivalents. but we lose the ability to calculate internal circuit quantities. all node voltages are measured relative to this ground. superposition.733 A) · = −3.5 A) · – (6 + 1.95. we have seen all of the basic tools used to solve linear circuits: voltage and current dividers. Every one of the time-domain. that can be used to calculate a circuit’s effect on any number of loads.46 We begin adding parallel current sources and parallel resistors to obtain the simplified circuit shown in Figure 3. we ease external calculations.667) 1.667 + (10 + 6) (6 + 1.667 6 + (−1. the best method of solving a linear circuit will consist of a hodge podge of methods. Voltage and current dividers give the fraction of a total voltage or current from a single voltage or current source.045 V 6 + (10 + 1. . by using these equivalents. yet requires (redrawing and) solving multiple smaller circles. respectively. AC.

4: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3. (b) Solve for Vx using node-voltage analysis. (b) Solve for Vx using node-voltage analysis. (a) Use superposition to determine the voltage Vx . (d) Solve for Vx using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the 84kΩ resistor).5: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3. Figure 96 Problem 3. Figure 98 Problem 3.47 Problem 3. determine the voltage across the two output terminals.3: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3.99.96. (f) Solve for Vx using source transformations. (c) Solve for Vx using mesh-current analysis.97. (e) Solve for Vx using the Norton equivalent (first remove the 84kΩ resistor). Figure 97 Problem 3.6: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3. (c) Solve for Vx using mesh-current analysis.2 What is the Norton equivalent of a current source in series with a resistor? Why can you not find a Thevinin equivalent? Problem 3.1 What is the Thevinin equivalent of a voltage source in parallel with a resistor? Why can you not find a Norton equivalent? Problem 3. . (a) Use superposition to determine the voltage Vx .98.

Figure 101 . Solve for Ix using mesh-current analysis. (b) Solve for Vx using node-voltage analysis.101.7: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3. (f) Solve for Ix using source transformations. Solve for Ix using node-voltage analysis. Figure 99 Problem 3. (e) Solve for Vx using the Norton equivalent (first remove the 55kΩ resistor). (d) Solve for Ix using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the 93kΩ resistor). (c) Solve for Ix using mesh-current analysis. (a) Use superposition to determine the current Ix . (c) Solve for Vx using mesh-current analysis.100.48 (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) Use superposition to determine the current Ix . (d) Solve for Vx using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the 55kΩ resistor). Solve for Ix using the Norton equivalent (first remove the 11kΩ resistor). (a) Use superposition to determine the current Vx . (e) Solve for Ix using the Norton equivalent (first remove the 93kΩ resistor). (b) Solve for Ix using node-voltage analysis. Solve for Ix using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the 11kΩ resistor). Solve for Ix using source transformations. Figure 100 Problem 3.8: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3.

49 Problem 3. (b) Solve for Ix using mesh-current analysis. (d) Solve for Ix using the Norton equivalents.102. (e) Solve for Vx using the Norton equivalent (first remove the 43kΩ resistor). (c) Solve for Ix using the Thevinin equivalents.11: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3. (d) Solve for Vx using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the 62kΩ resistor). (a) Use superposition to determine the voltage Vx . (e) Solve for Vx using the Norton equivalent (first remove the 62kΩ resistor). (c) Solve for Vx using mesh-current analysis.104. Figure 104 .10: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3. (b) Solve for Vx using node-voltage analysis. (b) Solve for Vx using node-voltage analysis.103. Figure 102 Problem 3. (a) Solve for Ix using node-voltage analysis. (c) Solve for Vx using mesh-current analysis. (f) Solve for Vx using source transformations. (d) Solve for Vx using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the 43kΩ resistor).9: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3. (a) Use superposition to determine the voltage Vx . Figure 103 Problem 3.

14: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3. (b) Solve for Vx using node-voltage analysis. (a) Use superposition to determine the voltage Vx . Figure 106 Problem 3. (c) Solve for Vx using mesh-current analysis. (e) Solve for Vx using the Norton equivalent. (f) Solve for Vx using source transformations.12: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3. (b) Solve for Vx using node-voltage analysis. (f) Solve for Vx using source transformations.107. (c) Solve for Vx using mesh-current analysis. (d) Solve for Vx using the Thevinin equivalent. (f) Solve for Vx using source transformations. (d) Solve for Vx using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the 20kΩ resistor). Figure 105 Problem 3. . (a) Use superposition to determine the voltage Vx .105.13: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3.106. (b) Solve for Vx using node-voltage analysis. (a) Use superposition to determine the voltage Vx . (d) Solve for Vx using the Thevinin equivalent.50 Problem 3. (c) Solve for Vx using mesh-current analysis. (e) Solve for Vx using the Norton equivalent. (e) Solve for Vx using the Norton equivalent (first remove the 20kΩ resistor).

Show that superposition is no longer a valid method for the nonlinear element. (b) Solve for Vx using node-voltage analysis. the unknown circuit element in the middle is nonlinear and that Vx = 2 · I 2 where I is the current flowing through the device. Figure 109 Problem 3. (e) Solve for Ix using the Norton equivalent (first remove the 78kΩ resistor). (f) Solve for Ix using source transformations.108. (b) Solve for Ix using node-voltage analysis.17: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3.16: For the circuit shown in Figure 3. (a) Use superposition to determine the voltage Vx . . (d) Solve for Vx using the Thevinin equivalent. (a) Use superposition to determine the current Ix . (e) Solve for Vx using the Norton equivalent. (c) Solve for Vx using mesh-current analysis.110.109. (f) Solve for Vx using source transformations.15: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3.51 Figure 107 Problem 3. (c) Solve for Ix using mesh-current analysis. (d) Solve for Ix using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the 78kΩ resistor). Figure 108 Problem 3.

(c) Solve for Vx and Ix using mesh-current analysis.19: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3. (b) Solve for Vx and Ix using node-voltage analysis. (a) Use superposition to determine the voltage Vx and the current Ix .18: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3. . (d) Solve for Ix using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the 58kΩ resistor).112. (a) Use superposition to determine the current Ix .113. (e) Solve for Ix using the Norton equivalent (first remove the 31V voltage source). (a) Use superposition to determine the voltage Vx and the current Ix . (f) Solve for Ix using source transformations.111. (d) Solve for Vx using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the 25kΩ resistor). Figure 111 Problem 3. (b) Solve for Vx and Ix using node-voltage analysis. (e) Solve for Ix using the Norton equivalent (first remove the 58kΩ resistor). (c) Solve for Vx and Ix using mesh-current analysis. (c) Solve for Ix using mesh-current analysis.20: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3.52 Figure 110 Problem 3. (d) Solve for Vx using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the 98kΩ resistor). (b) Solve for Ix using node-voltage analysis. (e) Solve for Ix using the Norton equivalent (first remove the 88kΩ resistor). Figure 112 Problem 3.

(c) Solve for Vx and Ix using mesh-current analysis. (a) Use superposition to determine the voltage Vx and the current Ix . Figure 114 Problem 3. .21: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3.114. (b) Solve for Vx and Ix using node-voltage analysis.53 Figure 113 Problem 3. Figure 115 Problem 3. (d) Solve for Ix using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the 8kΩ resistor). (d) Solve for Vx using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the 87kΩ resistor). (a) Use superposition to determine the current Ix . (e) Solve for Ix using the Norton equivalent (first remove the 38kΩ resistor). (c) Solve for Ix using mesh-current analysis.23: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3.116. (b) Solve for Ix using node-voltage analysis.115. (e) Solve for Ix using the Norton equivalent (first remove the 8kΩ resistor).22: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3. (a) Use superposition to determine the voltage Vx and the current Ix . (b) Solve for Vx and Ix using node-voltage analysis.

(c) Solve for Vx and Ix using mesh-current analysis. Solve for Ix using the Norton equivalent (first remove the 29kΩ resistor). Figure 117 Problem 3.24: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3. (e) Solve for Ix using the Norton equivalent (first remove the 6kΩ resistor). (c) Solve for Vx and Ix using mesh-current analysis. (f) Solve for Vx and Ix using source transformations. (a) Use superposition to determine the voltage Vx and the current Ix .118. (b) Solve for Vx and Ix using node-voltage analysis. (e) Solve for Ix using the Norton equivalent (first remove the 16kΩ resistor).54 (c) (d) (e) Solve for Vx and Ix using mesh-current analysis.25: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3. (d) Solve for Vx using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the 12kΩ resistor). (d) Solve for Vx using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the 25kΩ resistor). Figure 116 Problem 3. Figure 118 . (a) Use superposition to determine the voltage Vx and the current Ix .117. Solve for Vx using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the current source). (b) Solve for Vx and Ix using node-voltage analysis.

(a) Use superposition to determine the voltage Vx and the current Ix . (e) Solve for Ix using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the voltage source). (a) Use superposition to determine the voltage Vx and the current Ix . (b) Solve for Vx and Ix using node-voltage analysis. (d) Solve for Vx using the Norton equivalent (first remove the current source).55 Problem 3. (d) Solve for Vx using the Thevinin equivalent (first remove the 23kΩ resistor). (b) Solve for Vx and Ix using node-voltage analysis. Figure 120 .119.120. (c) Solve for Vx and Ix using mesh-current analysis.26: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3.27: For the linear circuit shown in Figure 3. (e) Solve for Ix using the Norton equivalent (first remove the 19kΩ resistor). (c) Solve for Vx and Ix using mesh-current analysis. Figure 119 Problem 3.