Would A Ground Connection Be Considerd An Open Path?

James: 3 days ago

Circuits that have ground paths to say physical earth (e.g. a rod driven into the earth ), would such a path technically be considered open as opposed to closed?

Christian: 3 days ago

A circuit is closed only if current can flow. This means that there must a continuous connection from the voltage source through the load and back.

If one point of your circuit is connected to ground, the circuit will only be closed if another part of the circuit or the source is also connected to ground. If there is only one connection to ground, then the circuit is open; no current can flow around the circuit.

Of course, it is possible to have a closed circuit that is simply connected to ground at one point. This is done with home power installations, for safety, as it prevents the circuit to float above ground potential, which could cause electric shocks. In that case, the circuit including ground will only be closed when another point of the circuit is also connected to ground. When that is done, current can flow from the circuit to ground and back to the circuit.