# Questions tagged [capacitance]

The ability of an object to store electric charge.

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### Why do we use capacitors and not batteries in defibrillator?

Why do we use capacitors in defibrillators and not batteries? I know that capacitors are used to store electrical energy but isn't the function of a battery just the same? Moreover, I know that ...
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### Intuitively, why does putting capacitors in series decrease the equivalent capacitance?

Can someone please explain, intuitively (without any formula, I understand the formulas), why the equivalent capacitance of capacitors in series is less than the any individual capacitor's capacitance?...
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### Is every open circuit a capacitor?

I think that even open-ended wires can let AC current flow through them, just with a low capacitance. I also think an antenna could be a capacitor and open ended. Am I thinking correctly?
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### Why is capacitance defined as charge divided by voltage?

I understand that capacitance is the ability of a body to store an electrical charge and the formula is $C=\frac{Q}{V}$. What I don't understand, however, is why it is defined as coulomb per volt. Of ...
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### 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 ...
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### Why does the voltage increase when capacitor plates are separated?

In lab, my TA charged a large circular parallel plate capacitor to some voltage. She then disconnected the power supply and used a electrometer to read the voltage (about 10V). She then pulled the ...
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### What is the difference between a battery and a charged capacitor?

What is the difference between a battery and a charged capacitor? I can see lot of similarities between capacitor and battery. In both these charges are separated and When not connected in a circuit ...
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### Distorted colors of Google StreetView photographs near electric power lines

This is a followup to my question: Cyclist's electrical tingling under power lines Some users presented a convincing picture that the electric shocks under power lines are primarily from the ...
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### Are there analogs to resistance, inductance, capacitance, and memristance connecting the weak force to electromagnetism?

A question was asked over at EE.SE recently which I tried to answer, but much of my answer was speculative. I'm hoping someone here can help my ignorance. In electronics design, there are four ...
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### 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 ...
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### Energy Gain with capacitor?

I have a question about energy gain in capacitors. Assume the following system: As the electron gets accelerated inside the capacitor, it will have more kinetic energy coming out than going in. But ...
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### Capacitance of Non-concentric Spheres

We all know how to obtain the capacitance $C=\frac{ab}{b-a}$ (ignoring constants) for two concentric spheres of radii $a,b$. I was just thinking to myself, what would happen to the capacitance for ...
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### Why do the charges on a parallel plate capacitor lie only on the inner surface?

In most pictures I've seen of parallel plate capacitors, charges are drawn so that they're entirely on the inner surface of the plates. I accept that there can't be any net charge within the ...
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### Where does energy go in joining capacitors of different capacitance charged by different potential, hypothetically assuming no resistance in circuits?

I don't understand why there is any change in initial and final energy since we have already assumed a perfectly conductive circuit. I mean, theoretically at least, there should be no change in energy....
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Grounding system of conducting plates

So, I always make mistakes on problems such as this (the grounding part), so I'm hoping someone could really explain to me how the process works. There are $n$ large parallel plate conductors ...
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### What does a relativistically moving capacitor “look” like? [duplicate]

Suppose I have a parallel plate capacitor with a vacuum between the plates, a voltage $V$ across them and a capacitance of $C$. What will this arrangement look like to an observer in a uniformly ...
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### Is the net charge on a capacitor zero? If yes, then why?

I know that a capacitor has positive and negative charge distribution on either of its plates. But saying that net charged provided to it by the connected battery is zero doesn't seem to be correct. I ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### If we charge a capacitor can we discharge it into a battery?

I have read that we can charge a capacitor using a battery, but can the vice versa happen? My project needs to show a battery being charged through a fully charged capacitor.
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### What is the current of a capacitor when the derivative of voltage is undefined?

This is from the textbook I am reading: I know this equation for capacitors: $$i=C\cdot \frac { dv }{ dt }$$ Here is my question: how can diagram (a) be allowed if the derivative of the voltage ...
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### Capacitor circuits with light bulb

Let's say we have a normal circuit with a light bulb, with wires and a battery. When one places a capacitor in this circuit, how is the light bulb able to light up, even when the capacitor prevents ...
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### Electric field outside a capacitor

I know that the electric field outside of a capacitor is zero and I know it is easy to calculate using Gauss's law. We create cylindrical envelope that holds the same amount of charges (of opposite ...
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### Energy to move a charge [closed]

If we want to move a charge q from the positive to the negative plate of a capacitor C (with a potential V), the energy that we need is E=1/2qV or E=qV ? Thanks for your help.
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### 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 ...
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### Why as distance decreases capacitance increases?

I understand mathematically that as the distance between the capacitor plates decreases, capacitance increases, but I find there is a small contradiction that I want to understand. If the capacitance ...
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This is problem 1463 from the Russian magazine Quant. Unfortunately my Russian is not good enough, so I apologize if the translation of the problem contains errors. Problem. Inside a flat charge ...
The question is: The initial electric field strength between oppositely charged parallel plates is $3.0\cdot 10^3 \frac{N}{C}$. What would the electric field strength become if half of the charge ...