What will happen if a capacitor is accelerated or rotated very very fast?

Will its capacitance decrease?

Will one of the plates be able to hold the electrons which is providing the Potential Difference?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ There are capacitors on the space shuttles. Just saying. $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Oct 2, 2014 at 13:59
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    $\begingroup$ @Jim yeah...so any changes in its capacitance? $\endgroup$
    – NeilRoy
    Oct 2, 2014 at 14:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Perhaps indicate why you think the capacitance might change. $\endgroup$
    – DanielSank
    Oct 2, 2014 at 17:30
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    $\begingroup$ @DanielSank My last point "Will one of the plate be able to hold the electrons which is providing the Potential Difference?" and also Jim's reply. Certainly there will be some change at very high speed. $\endgroup$
    – NeilRoy
    Oct 2, 2014 at 18:07

1 Answer 1


Depends on the mechanical tension on the plates and the dielectric. If the force that accelerates the capacitor is applied at one of the plates, acceleration towards the second plate will push the plates closer together and increase capacitance. If the acceleration vector points the opposite way, it will decrease the capacitance. The effect is known to electrical engineers as "microphonics" and it's crucial to design systems that may be sensitive to it with properly chosen dielectrics. Foil capacitors are usually far less affected than high capacitance ceramics.


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