# Chapter 17. Potential and Capacitance

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1 Chapter 17 Potential and Capacitance

2 Potential Voltage (potential) is the analogue of water pressure while current is the analogue of flow of water in say gal/min or Kg/s Think of a potential as the words sounds like the potential to do work Potential Energy We define potential as a the work per unit charge in moving a charge from point a to b Along some path that we choose In a static field (not time varying) this energy is conservative No matter what path you take you always get the same energy In static gravity this is the same it is a conservative field

3 Potential and Line Integrals in Space Mathematically this is a line integral along curve C from a to b. Note that in a closed line integral from point a back to point a the total energy is ZERO in a conservative field. Again a static E field is a conservative field

4 Work and Electric Fields Work (energy) is then potential (voltage) times charge moved from a to b For such a field we can show mathematically that we can express the E field as the gradient of the potential. We use a minus as a convention for work done on the charge by the field vs work the charge does on the field

5 Potential of a Point Charge Note that the potential goes as 1/r while the E field goes as 1/r 2

6 Q23.1 When a positive charge moves in the direction of the electric field, A. the field does positive work on it and the potential energy increases. B. the field does positive work on it and the potential energy decreases. C. the field does negative work on it and the potential energy increases. D. the field does negative work on it and the potential energy decreases. E. The field does zero work on it and the potential energy remains constant. +q E Motion E

7 A23.1 When a positive charge moves in the direction of the electric field, A. the field does positive work on it and the potential energy increases. B. the field does positive work on it and the potential energy decreases. C. the field does negative work on it and the potential energy increases. D. the field does negative work on it and the potential energy decreases. E. The field does zero work on it and the potential energy remains constant. +q E Motion E

8 Types of Voltages AC, DC, Pulse, Variable

9 Digital Volt Meter and International HV Symbol DVM International Symbol of High Voltage

10 AC Generators go back ~ 150 years Westinghouse 1887

11 Q23.8 The electric potential due to a point charge approaches zero as you move farther away from the charge. If the three point charges shown here lie at the vertices of an equilateral triangle, the electric potential at the center of the triangle is Charge #1 +q q Charge #2 y A. positive. B. negative. C. zero. D. either positive or negative. E. either positive, negative, or zero. x q Charge #3

12 A23.8 The electric potential due to a point charge approaches zero as you move farther away from the charge. If the three point charges shown here lie at the vertices of an equilateral triangle, the electric potential at the center of the triangle is Charge #1 +q q Charge #2 y A. positive. B. negative. C. zero. D. either positive or negative. E. either positive, negative, or zero. x q Charge #3

13 Introduction to Capacitance When flash devices made the big switch from bulbs and flashcubes to early designs of electronic flash devices, you could use a camera and actually hear a high-pitched whine as the flash charged up for your next photo opportunity. Just think of all those electrons moving on camera flash capacitors!

14 Keep charges apart and you get capacitance Define Capacitance C = Q/V where V is the potential (voltage) Define unit of Capacitance = Farad = 1 Coulomb/Volt Any two charges insulated from each other form a capacitance.

15 How do we build a capacitor? What s it good for?

16 The unit of capacitance, the farad, is very large Commercial capacitors for home electronics are often cylindrical, from the size of a grain of rice to that of a large cigar. Capacitors like those mentioned above and pictured at right are microfarad capacitors.

17 Some examples of flat, cylindrical, and spherical capacitors

18 Calculation of Capacitance Flat plates with dielectric material Dielectric constant K = ε R = relative permittivity A = Area of plate d = separation of plates C = Kε 0 A/d K= 1 for vacuum K = ± for air at STP DC

19 Energy Stored in Capacitor A capacitor stores energy in its electric field C = q/v dw = Vdq = q/c dq W = ½ Q 2 /C = ½ CV 2

20 Capacitance and Geometry Flat plate (lots of these in your cell phone) C = Kε 0 A/d = ε A/d (notation can be confusing ε = Kε 0 ) Coaxial line (concentric cylinders) Your cable like Cox cable C = 2π ε l/(ln(r 2 /R 1 ) Concentric Spheres C = 4π ε /(1/R 1-1/R 2 )

21 Capacitance of Single Sphere Recall two concentric sphere C = 4π ε /(1/R 1-1/R 2 ) Let out sphere go to infinity (R 2 ) C = 4π ε R 1 = 4π ε R Example our van de Graaff generator R~20cm C ~ 20 pf (p=pico = ) Earth R~6.4x10 6 m C ~ 710 F ( =micro= 10-6 )

22 Capacitors may be connected one or many at a time Connection one at a time in linear fashion is termed capacitors in series. Multiple connections designed to operate simultaneously is termed capacitors in parallel.

23 Calculations regarding capacitance Series 1/C T = 1/C 1 + 1/C 2 + 1/C 3 + 1/C 4 + Parallel C T = C 1 + C 2 + C 3 + C 4 + We will see the opposite when we get to resistors and inductors

24 The Z Machine capacitors storing large amounts of energy This large array of capacitors in parallel can store huge amounts of energy. When directed at a target, the discharge of such a device can generate temperatures on the order of 10 9 K!

25 Dielectrics change the potential difference The potential between to parallel plates of a capacitor changes when the material between the plates changes. It does not matter if the plates are rolled into a tube or if they are flat

26 Dielectric constants

27 Field lines as dielectrics change

28 Capacitors with and without dielectrics Dielectric is polarized Dielectric increases capacitance Dielectric increases energy Dielectric is pulled into plates

29 Dielectric breakdown A very strong electrical field can exceed the strength of the dielectric and then there will be ionization and breakdown.

30 Molecular models

31 Polarization and electric field lines

32 Gauss s Law in dielectrics

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Chapter 21 Electric Potential due to Point Charges And Capacitors Potential Difference, commonly called Voltage Recall: E = F/q o = force per unit charge (units: N/C) V = W/q o = work per unit charge