MadSci Network: Physics

Re: How does a capacitor work?

Date: Sat Feb 8 05:44:49 2003
Posted By: Frank Berauer, Technology Transfer Engineer Microelectronics
Area of science: Physics
ID: 1044497123.Ph

Dear Diana,

A capacitor can be seen as a temporary storage of charge. Positive and negative charges attract each other and, if they are separated by a thin non-conducting membrane in- between two metal electrodes (such as in a capacitor), they "stick" to it similar to two magnets across a piece of paper.

If you connect the two electrodes with a wire, the charges will flow through it and annihilate. If you apply a voltage across the electrodes, new charge will flow into the capacitor and remain there until you empty it again through the wire.

The amount of charge deposited depends on the voltage, the size of the electrodes and the thickness and material of the membrane inbetween. I hope this helps you understand better how a capacitor works.

Tropical Greetings,
Frank Berauer
Senior R&D Engineer
Hewlett-Packard Singapore

Current Queue | Current Queue for Physics | Physics archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Physics.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2003. All rights reserved.