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circuit diagram[′sər·kət ‚dī·ə‚gram]
a graphic representation of an electric circuit in which actual circuit components are represented by standard symbols.
Circuit diagrams can be classified into four types: schematic diagrams, wiring diagrams, basic diagrams, and design diagrams. Schematic diagrams depict the functional components of an electric circuit and their interconnections. Wiring diagrams (for connections and junctions) show the arrangement of circuit components and of connecting wires. In basic diagrams, the standard symbols for the circuit components are arranged in correspondence with the operational principle of the device, as well as to facilitate the reading of the diagram. In design diagrams, all or some of the components are represented as equivalent circuits; in such diagrams, sources of electromotive force, current, resistance, inductance, capacitance, and so on are assumed to be components with lumped parameters.
Circuit diagrams are used in studying the work of electric circuits and in calculating their operating conditions.