# Capacitors 101!

:
Capacitors 101! A PowerPoint by Robin Au, all about capacitors! Capacitor used for time traveling (Back To The
Future Movie series) Commonly used capacitors

What are capacitors? :
What are capacitors? Capacitors are components that can store energy in the electric field between a set of
conductors, also known as plates. When the electric charges hit the plates, it will store energy because the plates are
polarised and are placed in a certain way. Many circuits use capacitors as backup batteries, while others use them as
the battery. When the capacitor charges it stores up energy, which would be discharged or released for more
electricity.

What are energy stored in the capacitor measured in? :
What are energy stored in the capacitor measured in? Capacitor’s unit is farad, but the measurement of the farad is
called capacitance, but as all other measurements there are some different versions that are not as commonly used.
The abbreviation of capacitance is a capital ‘C’ and capital ‘F’ for farads. Like almost every other important electrical
component, capacitors are sometimes polarised, non-polarised capacitor’s symbol does not have a ‘+’ sign. Different
capacitor component symbols for different countries. One farad is massive compared to other normal ones, we
normally use milli-(µ), micro-(m), nano-(n) or pico-(p) Farads. So if we want 100 microfarads, we write the
abbreviation as 100mF

What is in a capacitor? :
What is in a capacitor?

What’s the difference of a polarised and a non-polarised capacitor? :
What’s the difference of a polarised and a non-polarised capacitor? You have to put the polarised capacitor in a
specific way for it to work, if you put it in the wrong way, it has a high chance to blow up. But with non-polarised
capacitors they do not have a specific way of inserting it into the circuit. Types of polarised capacitor There are two
main types of polarised capacitors, electrolytic type or tantalum type. Electrolytic typed capacitors are capacitors
which has a ionic conducting liquid inside it’s plate, allowing it to contain a higher amount of capacitance within one
capacitor. These capacitors are commonly come in 1µF (micro-farad) to 1F The tantalum type capacitor is a smaller
and compact version of a capacitor, it is small, therefore the capacitance of the total capacitor is lowered. This
capacitor is made up of tantalum grains which is coated by a of ‘oxide’ which is the tantalum grain’s reaction when it
meets air.

How do you calculate time constant in a circuit with a capacitor? :
How do you calculate time constant in a circuit with a capacitor? The formula for working out the time constant is T =
R x C ‘C’ is the value of the capacitor in farads. ‘R’ is the value of the resistor in Ohms. So in other words when the
value of ‘C’ is 100µF and value of ‘R’ is 180Ώ then it would be 100µF x 8K Ώ which is 0.001 x 8000 which equals to
80T, or 80time constants.

What is the difference between a capacitor in a series circuit and a parallel circuit? :
What is the difference between a capacitor in a series circuit and a parallel circuit? The difference of capacitance in
capacitors in both circuits are exactly the same as any other components. For example if you put a few LEDs (light
emitting diode) in a parallel circuit, they will all shine exactly as bright, whereas if you put them inside series circuit, it
will get dimmer as each component ‘use up’ the electrical power.