Norton's theorem for linear electrical networks, known in Europe as the Mayer–Norton theorem, states that any collection of voltage sources, current sources, and resistors with two terminals is electrically equivalent to an ideal current source, I, in parallel with a single resistor, R. For single-frequency AC systems the theorem can also be applied to general impedances, not just resistors. The Norton equivalent is used to represent any network of linear sources and impedances, at a given frequency. The circuit consists of an ideal current source in parallel with an ideal impedance (or resistor for non-reactive circuits).

Edward Lawry Norton (28 July 1898, Rockland, Maine–28 January 1983, Chatham, New Jersey) was an accomplished Bell Labs engineer and scientist famous for developing the concept of the Norton equivalent circuit. He attended the University of Maine for two years before transferring to M.I.T. and received a S.B. degree (electrical engineering) in 1922. He received an M.A. degree from Columbia University in 1925.

Norton's Theorem states that it is possible to simplify any linear circuit, no matter how complex, to an equivalent circuit with just a single current source and parallel resistance connected to a load. Just as with Thevenin's Theorem, the qualification of “linear” is identical to that found in the Superposition Theorem: all underlying equations must be linear (no exponents or roots).

Step by step procedure in using norton's theorem in electrical network analysis. This is a power point presentations which is also a simplified version design for better understanding of the topic.

Any collection of batteries and resistances with two terminals is electrically equivalent to an ideal current source i in parallel with a single resistor r. The value of r is the same as that in the Thevenin equivalent and the current i can be found by dividing the open circuit voltage by r.

A detailed circuit representation of norton and thevenin's equivalent circuits. Includes equivalent networks, power transfer, source transformation.

A video tutorial on norton equivalent circuit.

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