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January 22.doc

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Department
Physics
Course
PHYS 102
Professor
Zaven Altounian
Semester
Winter

Description
Phys 102 Alanna Houston January 22, 2008 The Capacitor: - A pair of conducting surfaces separated by a gap constitute a capacitor - If a capacitor is connected to a battery, after a very short time each plate acquires a charge - - The charge on the capacitor is defined to be the charge on its positively charged plate - The amount of charge is directly proportional to the potential difference of the battery - Q~V - Q = CV o Where C is the capacitance of the capacitor - Capacitance refers to the capacity to accumulate charges - If C is large, so is Q for a given V - Units for Capacitance: C/V = Farad [F] - The capacitance C depends on the construction of the capacitor - - The larger the area of the plates, the more charges can be put on the plate. I.e. Q is proportional to A - The smaller the separation, d, between the plates, the greater the attraction between the oppositely charged plates. This will allow more charges to be deposited on each plate. Q is proportional to 1/d Phys 102 Alanna Houston - - Where the proportionality constant is the permittivity of vacuum - Dielectrics: - What happens if the space between the capacitor plates is filled with a dielectric (insulator)? - A dielectric is an insulator (to maintain the charges +-Q on the plates) composed of polarized molecules - - Charge the capacitor by connecting its plates to a battery with a potential difference of V. Then, disconnect the battery. The charge
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