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A short circuit occurs when electricity can pass with little resistance between two parts of a circuit where it is not intended to. Typically, it will happen when two uninsulated wires touch accidentally, or a conducting (metal) part contacts two uninsulated parts of the circuit. It could also happen if the circuit is in contact with a conducting fluid such as saltwater. A short circuit can even happen through air if voltage becomes very high, enough to create an electrical "arc", overcoming the resistance of the air.

In the worst case, a short circuit connects the positive and negative terminals of a battery or voltage source almost directly, with almost no resistance, and very high current results, which is dangerous. In other cases, the short circuit might not create any danger, because the path of electricity encounters resistance in another part of the circuit. However, the voltage difference across the short will be zero, and the voltage difference across the intended path between the endpoints of the short will also be zero. All the current will flow through the short, and none through the intended path. As a result that part of the circuit probably will not work.

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Q: When do you get a short curcuit?
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