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# Week 9

PHYSICS 12 - General Physics 3
Capacitors
 Two conductors, isolated electrically from
each other and from their surroundings,
form a capacitor.
◦ When the capacitor is charged, the charges
on the conductors, or plates as they are called,
have the same magnitude q but opposite signs.
Capacitance
 When a capacitor is charged, its plates have charges of
equal magnitudes but opposite signs
 The charge q and the potential difference V for a
capacitor are proportional to each other; that is,
=
 C is the proportionality constant called the
capacitance.
Capacitance
 The capacitance is a measure of how much
charge must be put on the plates to produce a
certain potential difference between them: The
greater the capacitance, the more charge is
required.
=

◦ Unit: 1 farad = 1F = 1coulomb per volt = 1C/V
◦ Usually reported as (1 × 10
−6
) and (1 ×
10
−12
)
Calculating the Capacitance
 Recall:
◦ Gauss Law:
0

=
◦ Potential Difference: =

+

1. Parallel plate capacitor
=

0

2. Cylindrical capacitor
= 2
0
/ ln

3. Spherical capacitor
= 4
0

Capacitors in Parallel
 Capacitors connected in parallel can be
replaced with an equivalent capacitor that
has the same total charge q and the same
potential difference V as the actual
capacitors.
Capacitors in Series
 When a potential difference V is applied across several
capacitors connected in series, the capacitors have
identical charge q. The sum of the potential differences
across all the capacitors is equal to the applied potential
difference V.
Capacitors that are connected in series can
be replaced with an equivalent capacitor
that has the same charge q and the same
total potential difference Vas the actual
series capacitors.
Energy Stored in an Electric Field
 Voltage is related to capacitance
=

 Potential energy stored in a capacitor
=

2
2
=
1
2

2
=
1
2

Capacitor with a Dielectric
 a non-conducting material between their
conducting plates.
 Dielectric constant
=

0
=

0

(when Q is constant)
Sample Problem
1. A parallel-plate air capacitor of capacitance 245 pF has a charge
of magnitude 0.148 µC on each plate. The plates are 0.328 mm
apart. (a) What is the potential difference between the plates? (b)
What is the area of each plate? (c) What is the electric field
magnitude between the plates? (d) What is the surface charge
density on each plate?
2. In the figure, each capacitor has = 4.00 and

=
+28.0 . Calculate (a) the effective capacitance; and (b) the
charge on each capacitor.
Sample Problem
3. A parallel-plate air capacitor has a capacitance of The
charge on each plate is 2.55µC. (a) What is the potential
difference between the plates? (b) If the charge is kept
constant, what will be the potential difference between the
plates if the separation is doubled? (c) How much work is
required to double the separation?
4. A 12.5 µF capacitor is connected to a power supply that
keeps a constant potential difference of 24.0 V across the
plates. A piece of material having a dielectric constant of
3.75 is placed between the plates, completely filling the
space between them. (a) How much energy is stored in the
capacitor before and after the dielectric is inserted? (b) By
how much did the energy change during the insertion? Did
it increase or decrease?
Practice Problem
 In the figure below, C
1
= C
5
= 8.4µF and C
2
=
C
3
= C
4
= 8.4µF . The applied potential is V
ab
=
220 V. (a) What is the equivalent capacitance of
the network between points a and b? (b)
Calculate the charge on each capacitor and the
potential difference across each capacitor.
Current
 the net charge flowing through the area per unit
time
=

Unit: 1 () = 1/
 Current density, =

=

Resistivity
 the ratio of the magnitudes of electric
field and current density:
=

(the reciprocal of is called conductivity)
 Resistivity and temperature
=
0
1 + −
0
where is the temp coefficient of
resistivity
Resistance
 Relationship between resistance and
resistivity
=

Unit: Ω (ohm)
 Ohm’s Law
=
Color codes for resistor
Electromotive Force
 The influence that makes current flow from
lower to higher potential, “driving force”
 Abbreviated as “emf ”
 Examples are Batteries, electric generators,
solar cells, thermocouples, and fuel cells
 For an ideal source of emf

=
 In the presence of internal resistance,

= −