Circuit Construction Kit (DC Only) (2023)

Circuit Construction Kit (DC Only) (1)

published bythe PhET

This interactive java application gives students a virtual circuit simulator for building dc circuits. Wires, batteries, resistors, light bulbs, and switches are available to be added to the circuit, along with common "real world" objects. Parameters, such as resistance and voltage, can be modified as desired. Meters are available for measuring voltages and currents. Circuit elements can be arranged in any geometry desired by the user; circuit elements are not required to connect to a grid. The circuits can be viewed using either images of the objects or using schematic symbols. This is part of a large collection of simulations freely available from the Physics Education Technology group at the University of Colorado.

Additional context for this material is provided by the ComPADRE-SERC Pedagogic Service.

SubjectsLevelsResource Types
Electricity & Magnetism

- DC Circuits

= Circuit Analysis

= Currents

= Ohm's Law

- Lower Undergraduate

- Middle School

- High School

- Instructional Material

= Activity

= Curriculum support

= Interactive Simulation

- Audio/Visual

= Movie/Animation

Intended UsersFormatsRatings

- Learners

- Educators

- text/html

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Access Rights:
Free access
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.PhET Interactive Simulations by The PhET Team, University of Colorado are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Rights Holder:
University of Colorado-Boulder
Merlot Record
Link to Material
Link to Material
DC Circuit, ammeter, current, electric circuits, electricity, experiment simulation, interactive multimedia, ohm's law, resistivity, resistor, voltmeter
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created June 15, 2005 by Bruce Mason
Record Updated:
December 27, 2017 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
November 30, 2017
Other Collections:


Author: Tony Lai
Posted: June 6, 2008 at 3:49PM
Source: The Physics Front collection

I learned a lot

» reply


Author: Sam Wang
Posted: June 6, 2008 at 3:42PM
Source: The Physics Front collection

i learned a lot about circuits this way. thanks!

» reply

this is cool.

Author: Angela Sciencemaster
Posted: June 6, 2008 at 3:40PM
Source: The Physics Front collection

(Video) Using Circuit Construction Kit DC

This is an extremely cool, hands-on feature that helped me to understand circuits. YAAYYY!!!!

» reply

Post a new comment on this item

Next Generation Science Standards

Energy (HS-PS3)

Students who demonstrate understanding can: (9-12)

  • Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as either motions of particles or energy stored in fields. (HS-PS3-2)

Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)

Definitions of Energy (PS3.A)

  • …and "electrical energy" may mean energy stored in a battery or energy transmitted by electric currents. (9-12)

Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Systems and System Models (K-12)

  • Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs— and energy, matter, and information flows within systems. (6-8)
  • When investigating or describing a system, the boundaries and initial conditions of the system need to be defined and their inputs and outputs analyzed and described using models. (9-12)
  • Models can be used to predict the behavior of a system, but these predictions have limited precision and reliability due to the assumptions and approximations inherent in models. (9-12)

Energy and Matter (2-12)

  • Within a natural or designed system, the transfer of energy drives the motion and/or cycling of matter. (6-8)
  • The total amount of energy and matter in closed systems is conserved. (9-12)
  • Changes of energy and matter in a system can be described in terms of energy and matter flows into, out of, and within that system. (9-12)

Structure and Function (K-12)

  • Structures can be designed to serve particular functions. (6-8)
  • Complex and microscopic structures and systems can be visualized, modeled, and used to describe how their function depends on the shapes, composition, and relationships among its parts, therefore complex natural structures/systems can be analyzed to determine how they function. (6-8)
  • Investigating or designing new systems or structures requires a detailed examination of the properties of different materials, the structures of different components, and connections of components to reveal its function and/or solve a problem. (9-12)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)

  • Analyzing data in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to extending quantitative analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation, and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis. (6-8)
    • Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for phenomena. (6-8)
  • Analyzing data in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency, and the use of models to generate and analyze data. (9-12)
    • Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution. (9-12)

Developing and Using Models (K-12)

  • Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to developing, using and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems. (6-8)
    • Develop a model to describe unobservable mechanisms. (6-8)
  • Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed worlds. (9-12)
    • Develop and use a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system. (9-12)

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

8. The Designed World

8C. Energy Sources and Use

  • 6-8: 8C/M4. Electrical energy can be generated from a variety of energy resources and can be transformed into almost any other form of energy. Electric circuits are used to distribute energy quickly and conveniently to distant locations.

11. Common Themes

11A. Systems

  • 9-12: 11A/H2. Understanding how things work and designing solutions to problems of almost any kind can be facilitated by systems analysis. In defining a system, it is important to specify its boundaries and subsystems, indicate its relation to other systems, and identify what its input and output are expected to be.

11B. Models

  • 6-8: 11B/M1. Models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.

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(Video) Circuit Construction Kit: DC - Virtual Lab

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<a href="">PhET. PhET Simulation: Circuit Construction Kit (DC Only). Boulder: PhET, November 30, 2017.</a>

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PhET Simulation: Circuit Construction Kit (DC Only). (2017, November 30). Retrieved November 13, 2022, from PhET:

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@misc{Title = {PhET Simulation: Circuit Construction Kit (DC Only)},Publisher = {PhET},Volume = {2022},Number = {13 November 2022},Month = {November 30, 2017},Year = {2017}}

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(Video) Building Series & Parallel Circuits with PhET Simulations

%T PhET Simulation: Circuit Construction Kit (DC Only) %D November 30, 2017 %I PhET %C Boulder %U %O text/html

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%0 Electronic Source %D November 30, 2017 %T PhET Simulation: Circuit Construction Kit (DC Only) %I PhET %V 2022 %N 13 November 2022 %8 November 30, 2017 %9 text/html %U

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This resource is stored in 35 shared folders.

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PhET Simulation: Circuit Construction Kit (DC Only):

Is the Basis ForDC circuits lab with real equipment and CCK

This lab looks at a few simple DC circuits that give an idea of how they work. We will learn how to use a DC power supply and a digital multimeter (DMM).

relation by Alea Smith

Expanded OnPhET Simulation: Circuit Construction Kit (AC+DC)

A newer version of this circuit simulator allowing for simulating AC Circuits.

relation by Taha Mzoughi

Is the Basis ForPhET Teacher Ideas and Activities: Properties of Electric Circuits Using Only Circuit Construction Kit (CCK)

A lesson plan for introductory high school physics classes, designed specifically to accompany the PhET DC Circuit Construction simulator.

relation by Caroline Hall

(Video) ‪Circuit Construction Kit: DC‬

Is the Basis ForPhET Teacher Ideas and Activities: Circuit Construction Kit - Series of Three Activities

A series of three lessons developed specifically for use with the PhET DC Circuit Construction Kit. Also includes detailed student guides for using the circuit simulator alone or in combination with a hands-on circuit lab.

relation by Caroline Hall

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    (Video) ‪How to Video of Circuit Construction Kit


    What is circuit construction kit DC? ›

    Circuit Construction Kit: DC - Virtual Lab is an interactive sim. It changes as you play with it. It has a Play Area and a Control Area. If needed, check out keyboard shortcuts under Sim Resources.

    How do you simulate a circuit? ›

    The process of simulating a circuit begins with the “modeling” of each element from the circuit in terms of basic building blocks such as current and voltage sources, resistors, capacitors, and inductors. The parameters for each element in the model may be time-varying or time-invariant.

    What does PhET stand for? ›

    What does PhET stand for? The name "PhET" was originally an acronym for "Physics Education Technology" but the PhET site now includes simulations about many other subjects besides physics, so the acronym is too limited. The PhET team decided to keep the name because it is so widely recognized.

    Why is DC not used in homes? ›

    Direct current can not be easily stepped up or stepped down with the help of transformers whereas alternating current can easily be converted from low voltage to high voltage or vice-versa with the help of transformers. The possibility of electrolytic corrosion is more in DC than in AC.

    What will work only on DC supply? ›

    In ICs, Microprocessors and digital computers, they need ripple free and pure DC as input signal to generate a digital binary signal (High or Low) for ON/OFF operation which is only possible with DC Supply.

    Does PhET cost money? ›

    PhET provides fun, free, interactive, research-based science and mathematics simulations.

    Can spice simulate any circuit? ›

    SPICE is a computer simulation and modeling program used by engineers to mathematically predict the behavior of electronics circuits. Developed at the University of California at Berkeley, SPICE can be used to simulate circuits of almost all complexities.

    Do PhET simulations still work? ›

    PhET Java simulations will run on most PC, Mac, and Linux systems. Adobe has announced the end-of-life of Flash and beginning January 1, 2021, you will no longer be able to run PhET's Flash sims on modern web browsers. PhET relies on donations from users like you to fund our conversions to HTML5.

    How do I make an electronic circuit model? ›

    Electronic circuits can be modelled using a prototyping board (or breadboard). This can be time consuming and uses real components, which can be damaged. Computerised simulation software can be used to test circuits without the need to physically build them. In addition, the computer simulation can be saved and edited.

    Is PhET good? ›

    PhET Interactive Simulations is an excellent, free tool to help support student learning. Lab experiments and demonstrations have been a staple of math and science since the dawn of time for a very good reason: They promote lasting retention of otherwise difficult-to-understand concepts.

    Is PhET simulation free? ›

    Teaching Resources, Activities, and Community

    Founded in 2002 by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman, the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations.

    Who owns PhET? ›

    PhET Interactive Simulations, a project at the University of Colorado Boulder, is a non-profit open educational resource project that creates and hosts explorable explanations. It was founded in 2002 by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman.

    Which is safer AC or DC current? ›

    Alternating current (A.C) is five times more dangerous than Direct current (D.C). The frequency of the alternating current is the main reason for this severe effect on the human body. The frequency of 60 cycles is in an extremely harmful range. At this frequency, even a small voltage of 25 volts can kill a person.

    What application requires only DC? ›

    DC power is widely used in low voltage applications such as charging batteries, automotive applications, aircraft applications and other low voltage, low current applications.

    Is DC as powerful as AC? ›

    AC current changes its magnitude and direction periodically while DC current has a fixed magnitude and direction. AC current is more dangerous than DC current because of several reasons. The frequency as well as the RMS value of AC can be very harmful.

    Can you run a house on DC power? ›

    For this reason, you should have no problem designing a home with only DC appliances. In fact, you can also design a completely DC-powered home. Switching to a DC grid will be more convenient if you're using renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, to power your home.

    Can I use DC instead of AC? ›

    Short answer: No, most AC devices could not run off DC. In-depth answer: There are very specific cases where this will work. If your input circuit is a diode rectifier followed by capacitors, after which everything in the system is expecting DC, then you should be able to feed DC into the circuit.

    Can you run AC and DC on the same circuit? ›

    We have been asked a few times in the recent past as to whether we can run DC and AC cables run in the same conduit. The answer is No since the DC cables could induce a DC voltage onto the AC side. The AC sine wave should oscillate about the 0 volt axis i.e., the positive and negative cycles should be the same.

    Is PhET offline? ›

    The PhET Desktop App contains all HTML5 and Java simulations, including their translations, for offline use on Windows and macOS.

    Is PhET open source? ›

    PhET is an open source project, which has benefited from the contributions of other open source projects. It is important to our mission to make our source code publicly available.

    Are PhET simulations accurate? ›

    PhET simulations allow easy, accurate repeatability (e.g., the skater can always be started from the same point), so that the effect of many different parameters can be accurately explored.

    What is better than LTspice? ›

    The best alternative is Circuit JS, which is both free and Open Source. Other great apps like LTspice are QUCS, OpenModelica, Xcos and iCircuit. LTspice alternatives are mainly Circuit Simulators but may also be Electronic Design Automation Tools or CAD Software.

    What is the difference between LTspice and SPICE? ›

    It has an edge for providing Monte Carlo analysis(simulation involving probability and random numbers). LTspice, on the other hand, is a free simulator and will be able to handle your general circuit analysis. Basically, spice simulators are the same with little differences.

    What is difference between SPICE and pSPICE? ›

    SPICE models should not be confused with pSPICE models. pSPICE is a proprietary circuit simulator provided by OrCAD. While some pSPICE models are compatible with SPICE, there is no guarantee. SPICE is the most widely used circuit simulator, and is an open standard.

    Does NASA use simulators? ›

    The VEST facility uses both hardware and software simulators to replicate the operation of the Hubble observatory in orbit. In this view, the main VEST structure is seen on the left, while ancillary equipment, including some of the instrument benches, appear on the right.

    How do I run PhET simulations on Windows? ›

    How to Run PhET Java Simulations
    1. Once the file has downloaded, locate it on your hard drive and click to open it.
    2. If you receive any kind of security warning, click to accept it.
    3. The simulation should appear and run after a brief loading message.
    9 Jan 2020

    How do I make simulations like PhET? ›

    Creating PhET Interactive Simulations Activities
    1. Define specific learning goals. ...
    2. Give only minimal directions on sim use. ...
    3. Connect and build on students' prior knowledge & understanding. ...
    4. Encourage students to use sense-making and reasoning. ...
    5. Connect to and make sense of real-world experiences. ...
    6. Design collaborative activities.

    Which software is used for circuit simulation? ›

    List of free electronics circuit simulators
    Simulator nameBusiness/DeveloperO/S platforms
    Logisim-evolutionMultiple Universities and community developersWindows, macOS, Linux
    LTspiceAnalog DevicesWindows, macOS, POL
    Micro-CapSpectrum SoftwareWindows
    Ngspicen/aWindows, macOS, Linux
    9 more rows

    What are the 10 types of modeling? ›

    What are the 10 types of modeling? Fashion (Editorial) Modeling, Fashion (Catalog) Modeling, Runway Modeling, Commercial Modeling, Mature Modeling, Promotional Modeling, Parts Modeling, Fit Modeling, Fitness Modeling, Glamour Modeling etc are some of the types of modeling.

    What are the 13 types of models? ›

    13 Types of Models
    • High fashion (Editorial) Models. Models who work in the fashion industry are often known as editorial models. ...
    • Fashion (Catalogue) Models. ...
    • Commercial Models. ...
    • Mature Models. ...
    • Promotional Models. ...
    • Parts Models. ...
    • Fit Models. ...
    • Fitness Models.

    What are the 4 types of electronic diagram? ›

    6.2: Types of Electrical Diagrams
    • Schematic Diagrams.
    • Wiring diagrams.
    • Block diagrams.
    • Pictorial diagrams.
    11 Sept 2021

    What are the 4 basic types of electronic components? ›

    Resistors: Components used to resist current. Switches: Components that may be made to either conduct (closed) or not (open). Capacitors: Components that store electrical charge in an electrical field. Magnetic or Inductive Components: These are Electrical components that use magnetism.

    How do you make a simple circuit project? ›

    1. Step 1: Cut a Small Portion of the Wire Into Half. ...
    2. Step 2: Cut Rubber of the Wire. ...
    3. Step 3: Place the Battery to Its Case. ...
    4. Step 4: Twist the Copper Wire. ...
    5. Step 5: Connect the LED to the Wire. ...
    6. Step 6: Connect the Negative Wire to the Negative Side and the Positive One to the Positive Side.

    What is DC circuit used for? ›

    Direct current is used in any electronic device with a battery for a power source. It is also used to charge batteries, so rechargeable devices like laptops and cell phones come with an AC adapter that converts alternating current to direct current.

    What does DC circuit mean? ›

    DC stands for 'direct current' which means the current only flows in one direction. Batteries and electronic devices like TVs, computers and DVD players use DC electricity - once an AC current enters a device, it's converted to DC. A typical battery supplies around 1.5 volts of DC.

    What is a DC breaker box? ›

    DC MCCB (DC Mold Case Circuit Breaker) is a circuit control protection device for energy storage, transportation and industrial DC circuits. They are also used in ungrounded battery-powered circuits to provide emergency backup power and backup power.

    What is a circuit board kit? ›

    Kit consists of baseboard with terminals connections, set of highquality plastic connectors with metal inserts and with potentiometerand lamp holders and accessories units, enable a variety of circuits to be constructed quickly. Supplied with all accessories, without cells. Supplied with manual. Instructions.

    Which is better AC or DC circuit? ›

    DC power is far more consistent in terms of voltage delivery, meaning that most electronics rely on it and use DC power sources such as batteries. Electronic devices can also convert AC power from outlets to DC power by using a rectifier, often built into a device's power supply.

    Why is DC used instead of AC? ›

    DC power is significantly more energy efficient than AC power. DC motors and appliances have higher efficiency and power to size characteristics. DC-based lighting (LED) is as much as 75% more efficient than incandescent lighting.

    Who uses DC current? ›

    AC and DC current are the two primary methods of electrical transmission. DC most frequently finds a home in battery-powered objects as well as home electronics, while AC forms the basis for the most efficient long-range energy transmission.

    Is DC voltage or current? ›

    DC stands for Direct Current, which is electrical current that flows in one direction. In dc circuits, the current is in one direction unlike the alternating current (AC) where the current reverses direction 50 or 60 times a second depending on the frequency of the supply.

    Is DC circuit and current electricity same? ›

    Electricity flows in two ways: either in an alternating current (AC) or in a direct current (DC). Electricity or "current" is nothing but the movement of electrons through a conductor, like a wire. The difference between AC and DC lies in the direction in which the electrons flow.

    Can circuit breakers work on DC? ›

    The ways in which AC and DC breakers are designed to extinguish the arc are very different and this is why AC and DC breakers are not interchangeable. Only breakers that are labeled as DC rated should be used for DC applications. An AC-rated breaker should never be used in a DC circuit.

    Can AC and DC share the same box? ›

    Circuit boxes

    The Electrical Code prohibits AC and DC in the same box. You'll need two distribution boxes – one for AC and one for DC. Circuit breakers rated for AC won't work for DC. Expect to pay more for DC breakers.

    Does voltage matter on DC circuit breaker? ›

    You need to keep the voltage less than 32V, but not because the breaker will trip if you go higher than that. The problem is that if the voltage is too high when the breaker trips, it might not be able to stop the current because of arcing.

    What are three types of circuit boards? ›

    Common Types of Printed Circuit Boards
    • Single Layer PCB. Single layer printed circuit boards are among some of the simplest to design and manufacture. ...
    • Double Layer PCB. ...
    • Multi-Layer PCB. ...
    • High Density Interconnect (HDI) PCB. ...
    • High Frequency PCB.
    28 Mar 2019

    Can I make my own circuit board? ›

    You can can make your own PCB layout by using a decent PCB designing software. For me the best PCB board design software is Eagle Layout Editor, but for people who are looking for a less complicated software can use Microsoft Powerpoint.


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