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the loads in a parallel circuit are connected multiply across the voltage source. that means that instead of being in a line (series), the loads are connected via branches that return to the voltage source. note that voltage sources can themselves be connected in parallel. think of it this way, the batteries (cells) in your flashlight are connected in series - end to end, positive to negative. (we really should have discussed the polarity of the terminals earlier. suffice it to say that electricity flows from the negative terminal to the positive in a circuit.) if cells are connected in parallel, it means that all the positive terminals have been connected together and all the negative terminals have been connected together. now, the interesting part is that when cells are connected in series the voltage increases. 1.5v + 1.5v = 3v. However, when the cells are connected in parallel, the amps increase - more current is flowing through the circuit, though the voltage remains the same.