This type of circuit is called an earth-return system any part of it connected to the car body is said to be earthed.
The two components are connected in series so that the varying resistance in the sender will affect the position of the needle on the gauge.
The strength of the current is measured in amperes (amps); the pressure that drives it round the circuit is called voltage (volts). Modern cars have a 12 volt battery. Its capacity is measured in amp/hours. A 56 amp/hour battery should be able to deliver a current of 1 amp for 56 hours, or 2 amps for 28 hours.
Apart from the main charging, starting and ignition circuits, there are other circuits that power lights, electric motors, the sensors and gauges of electrical instruments, heating elements, magnetically operated locks, the radio and so on. All Circuits are opened and closed either by switches or by relays - remote switches operated by electromagnets.