The ability of an object to store electric charge.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

12
votes
5answers
873 views

Where's the energy in a boosted capacitor?

Suppose I look at a parallel plate capacitor in its rest frame and calculate the electrostatic energy, $E$. Next, I look at the same capacitor in a primed frame boosted in the direction perpendicular ...
7
votes
2answers
53k views

What is the electric field in a parallel plate capacitor?

When we find the electric field between the plates of a parallel plate capacitor we assume that the electric field from both plates is $${\bf E}=\frac{\sigma}{2\epsilon_0}\hat{n.}$$ The factor of two ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Capacitor with different charges on each plate

I am confused as to whether/how capacitance changes when each plate has a different charge. For example, consider a coaxial cable and put $20Q$ on the outer cable, and $-Q$ on the inner. Or how about ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

A problem of missing energy when charging a second capacitor

A capacitor is charged. It is then connected to an identical uncharged capacitor using superconducting wires. Each capacitor has 1/2 the charge as the original, so 1/4 the energy - so we only have 1/2 ...
0
votes
3answers
199 views

Why does a $1/2$ appear in this simple capacitor equation?

The maximum energy stored by a capacitor is when it's (theoretically) fully charged or just before it reaches dielectric breakdown, if you will. It seems, then, that the maximum energy ($E$) $=QV$ ...
2
votes
4answers
6k views

Capacitor Charging and Discharging when connected to the ground

When we charge a capacitor using a battery and then remove the battery, the plates of capacitor becomes charged. One holds positive charge and the other one gets equal negative charge. o. k. ? Now ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Is a capacitor in an open circuit charged?

Say I have a circuit consisting of a battery, a wire, an open switch, and a capacitor. The circuit is open since the switch is open. My book says that the capacitor will only be charged when the ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

The moving capacitor

To what extent can a charged capacitor mounted on a moving platform (e.g. a rotating wheel) be considered an electric current generator? Electric current, after all, is nothing more than the transport ...
1
vote
3answers
310 views

Capacitance of a single charged plate?

Lets say we have a single plate that has a charge of +Q on it. A plate with charge -Q is infinite distance away. Will the plate with +Q have a capacitance associated with it? Why or why not? I was ...
1
vote
2answers
798 views

Physical explanation for capacitive circuit

In capacitive circuit, the voltage and current are out of phase. the current leads the voltage by 90 degrees. this can be explained by these two equations: $$V = V_{\max} \sin \omega t$$ $$I = I_{\...
1
vote
1answer
286 views

Charging a capacitor (terminals)

When a battery is connected to a conductor electrons are repelled from the end of the conductor connected to the negative terminal of the battery and flow to the end of the conductor connected to the ...
0
votes
3answers
13k views

Why does the area of the plates affect the capacitance?

Why does the area of the plates affect the capacitance? Lets say I have a parallel plate capacitor with a charge of 10C and a potential difference of 5V. By the definition $C=Q/V$, the capacitance is ...
0
votes
2answers
428 views

Is $Q=CV$ still acceptable formular on the capacitor charged by the transformed circuit?

Assume there is a 100V to 1000V transformer and the capacitor connected in the second circuit.(You know, transformers have two circuits) The second circuit's voltage is 1000V, but the amount current ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

What is the capacity of this circuit? [duplicate]

I simply can't figure out what the capacity of this circuit is. I can do the math myself, I just need a hint how to create an equivalent circuit where it is obvious what is parallel and what is in ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Capacitor charging, work done by battery on changing polarity

A uncharged capacitor $C$ is connected to a battery with potential $V$. It becomes fully charged and has a charge $Q=CV$ stored on it. Now the polarity of the battery is reversed. The capacitor will ...
0
votes
2answers
82 views

The separation between the two plates of a capacitor is increased

I had the following question on a quiz recently: A capacitor consisting of two parallel plates, separated by a distance $d$, is connected to a battery of EMF ε. What happens if the separation is ...
0
votes
2answers
123 views

Electric flux density between the 2 plates of a capacitor

I am reading a solved exercise about a parallel plate capacitor in which states that the electric flux density between the 2 plates is: $$D=p_{s}$$ where $p_{s}$ is the surface current density of ...
-1
votes
2answers
168 views

Charge between parallel plates given voltage

When you connect a parallel-plates capacitor to a voltage source, why is it assumed that the plates will have equal but opposite charge? According to the formula, the voltage only fixes the charge ...
-1
votes
3answers
123 views

I wonder why I cannot charge a capacitor with alternating current?

Why can't I charge the capacitor with AC? How do the plates block the flow of electrons with DC but not with AC. Somebody told me that the DC is blocked by the capacitor, so the capacitor gets charge,...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there a deep reason why springs combine like capacitors?

I was solving a practice Physics GRE and there was a question about springs connected in series and parallel. I was too lazy to derive the way the spring constants add in each case. But I knew how ...
2
votes
1answer
14k views

How is capacitance of a cylindrical capacitor calculated?

I've just begun learning capacitance, and my lecture notes have a section on calculating capacitance for capacitors in vacuum of various shapes, e.g. two parallel plates and concentric spherical ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Capacitance of two non parallel plates

What is the formula for capacitance of two non parallel plates at an angle with each other?If the plates were parallel then the value can be calculated as (PermittivityX area of one plate)/distance ...
8
votes
4answers
7k views

Will a charged capacitor discharge if one lead is connected to ground?

If I charge a capacitor and connect one lead to ground keeping the other lead floating, will the capacitor discharge ? ...
1
vote
3answers
714 views

Is this really how a capacitor works? Why doesn't it behave like a resistor?

My book says a capacitor is two conducts being connected by an insulator. Now let's take a parallel plate capacitor to simplify the problem I have. Suppose I got two parallel plate capacitor in ...
5
votes
2answers
15k views

What happens to capacitor’s charge when the plates are moved further apart?

In my physics textbook there is an example of using capacitor switches in computer keyboard: Pressing the key pushes two capacitor plates closer together, increasing their capacitance. A larger ...
4
votes
2answers
96 views

What moves the charges between capacitors?

Suppose I charged two capacitors to charges Q1 and Q2. By charging a capacitor to charge +Q , I mean that one plate acquires a net charge +Q and another plate acquires a net charge -Q.The capacitors ...
3
votes
1answer
445 views

Capacitance of a conducting disk

I'm reading this(PDF) derivation of the capacitance of a thin conducting disk. The surface charge density of such a disk can be shown to be: $\sigma(r) = \frac{Q}{4\pi a\sqrt{a^2 - r^2}}$ (in ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

Realistic vs Idealistic capacitance

I am doing an investigation into the differences of calculating capacitance using the well know formula for an idealistic parallel plate capacitor, based on the assumption of a uniformly distributed ...
3
votes
4answers
557 views

Attractive force between capacitor plates

A textbook question requires me to calculate the force of attraction between plates of a parallel-plate capacitor. The answer provided is $\frac{1}{2}QE$. I am not entirely sure how they arrived at ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

How does instant charging of one plate affect the potential of the other plate of a floating capacitor?

If I have an uncharged floating capacitor and I instantaneously connect one plate to some potential, then that plate will acquire some charge. In practice, the other floating plate will ...
3
votes
3answers
171 views

Is capacitance calculated over a finite volume or over all space?

Is the capacitance of a system of conductors calculated in a finite volume or over all space? My question is motivated by the following problem. A volume $V$ in vacuum is bounded by a surface $S$ ...
0
votes
1answer
481 views

The definition of mutual capacitance

I am not sure I completely understand the definition of mutual capacitance. Let's say we have two conductors, $A$ and $B$, so that the following holds: Both conductors are isolated. $A$ is isolated ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Charge On parallel plate capacitor?

Suppose if we supply two plates of parallel plate capacitor with charges $Q_1$ and $Q_2$.What would be the charge of the capacitor? As the field inside plate should be zero and hence using gauss law I ...
0
votes
2answers
9k views

Inserting metal into parallel plate capacitor

The plates of an isolated parallel plate capacitor with a capacitance C carry a charge Q. The plate separation is d. Initially, the space between the plates contains only air. Then, an isolated ...
7
votes
2answers
292 views

What stops charges from jumping across a capacitor?

I've learnt in class that charges store up on capacitor plates (the electrons). But why don't the electrons just jump across capacitor, what stops them? At first I thought perhaps it might just be the ...
5
votes
1answer
14k views

What defines the maximum charge a capacitor can store?

The formula for a capacitor discharging is $Q=Q_0e^{-\frac{t}{RC}}$ Where $Q_0$ is the maximum charge. But what property defines the maximum charge a capacitor can store? If it depends on ...
4
votes
2answers
745 views

Energy conservation when capacitor charges in a zero resistance circuit

We know that when a capacitor charges from a source $E$, it stores energy of $E=\frac{1}{2}QV $. This is derived without taking into consideration any resistances present in the circuit. We also ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

Why is an $LC$ oscillator lossless, but $C V^2 / 2$ energy is lost to a capacitor connected to an ideal voltage source?

It is mathematically proven that in an $LC$ oscillation that all the energy gets transferred from the inductor to the capacitor and vice versa. There is no energy loss as there is no load in the ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Breakdown voltage of a dielectric

I know that a capacitor with a dielectric can operate normally up till a certain voltage (AFAIK called breakdown voltage) which depends on the strength of the dielectric placed between the plates. ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

Parallel RLC circuit, how branching currents may each be larger than source current at resonance?

How can the branching currents individually be greater than the source current?
1
vote
3answers
119 views

Energy stored in a capacitor

Suppose we have a capacitor connected in series with a resistor and this is connected to a cell. So would the voltage across the capacitor be less than the the emf of the cell? And hence the energy ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

Capacitors and Voltage

Imagine if I have a capacitor, connected to a battery of $12 V$. After charging the capacitor, I increase the plate separation. Then my capacitance decreases, right? But charge should be ...
1
vote
1answer
362 views

Charging the plates before making the capacitor

Basically, a simple capacitor will consist of 2 plates and a dielectric material between them, what if i took 2 plates, charged one with a +ve charge and the other with equal -ve charge, then i put ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Charging a capacitor

Below is an excerpt from a physics textbook: One common way to charge a capacitor is to connect these two wires to opposite terminals of a battery. Once the charges $Q$ and $-Q$ are established on ...
0
votes
1answer
251 views

Is it possible to charge a capacitor to any potential? Does it depend on the dielectric placed between them?

Is it possible to charge a capacitor to any potential? Does it depend on the dielectric placed between them? Or, are there other factors affecting it?
0
votes
3answers
879 views

electron flow in capacitor with dielectric

if I make a circuit with a battery and a capacitor (with a dielectric inside), how it is possible to get a current in the circuit? If electrons go from one pole of the battery and they arrive to one ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Force between the plates of a capacitor

As we know that the electric field between two parallel plates of a capacitor is $$E=\frac{\sigma}{\epsilon_0}$$, so the magnitude of force exerted by one plate on the other should have been $$F=QE$$. ...
0
votes
2answers
247 views

Energy loss in Capacitors

We have this formula in our textbook for loss of energy when two capacitors are connected together. They mention that it is due to heat dissipation. However, we have not considered any such term in ...
0
votes
1answer
268 views

What does an increased time constant of a capacitor do?

If a capacitor is being charged to any voltage, what effect would increasing the time constant have on it and if a graph of Charge Q/Time T was plotted to give a positive decreasing gradient, how ...
0
votes
0answers
69 views

Capacitors discharging in series [duplicate]

If you connect positive plate of a charged capacitor to ground, it doesn't get discharged. Now consider $4$ capacitors of equal capacitance connected in series to a $10\, \mathrm{V}$ battery. Connect ...