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short circuit

short circuit, abnormal connection of low resistance between two points of a circuit that usually causes a high, potentially damaging current to flow. To protect against damage, devices such as a fuse or a circuit breaker are used. They sense the excess current and break the circuit so that no current can flow. They must be replaced or reset manually once the cause of the short circuit is removed.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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