# Chapter 26. Capacitance and Dielectrics

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1 Chapter 26 Capacitance and Dielectrics

2 Capacitors Capacitors are devices that store electric charge Examples of where capacitors are used include: radio receivers filters in power supplies energy-storing devices in electronic flashes

3 Definition of Capacitance The capacitance, C, of a capacitor is defined as the ratio of the magnitude of the charge on either conductor to the potential difference between the conductors C Q V The SI unit of capacitance is the farad (F)

4 Makeup of a Capacitor A capacitor consists of two conductors These conductors are called plates When the conductor is charged, the plates carry charges of equal magnitude and opposite directions A potential difference exists between the plates due to the charge

5 More About Capacitance Capacitance will always be a positive quantity The capacitance of a given capacitor is constant The capacitance is a measure of the capacitor s ability to store charge The farad is a large unit, typically you will see microfarads (mf) and picofarads (pf)

6 Parallel Plate Capacitor Each plate is connected to a terminal of the battery If the capacitor is initially uncharged, the battery establishes an electric field in the connecting wires

7 Capacitance Isolated Sphere Assume a spherical charged conductor Assume V = 0 at infinity C Q Q R V k Q / R k e 4πε R Note, this is independent of the charge and the potential difference e o

8 Capacitance Parallel Plates The charge density on the plates is σ = Q/A A is the area of each plate, which are equal Q is the charge on each plate, equal with opposite signs The electric field is uniform between the plates and zero elsewhere

9 Capacitance Parallel Plates, cont. The capacitance is proportional to the area of its plates and inversely proportional to the distance between the plates C Q Q Q εa o V Ed Qd / ε A d o

10 Parallel Plate Assumptions The assumption that the electric field is uniform is valid in the central region, but not at the ends of the plates If the separation between the plates is small compared with the length of the plates, the effect of the non-uniform field can be ignored

11 Capacitance of a Cylindrical Capacitor From Gauss s Law, the field between the cylinders is E = 2k e / r V = -2k e ln (b/a) The capacitance becomes C Q V 2k ln b / a e

12 Capacitance of a Spherical Capacitor The potential difference will be 1 1 V keq b a The capacitance will be C Q ab V k b a e

13 Question 26.1 (a) How much charge is on each plate of a 4.00-μF capacitor when it is connected to a 12.0-V battery? (b) If this same capacitor is connected to a 1.50-V battery, what charge is stored?

14 Question 26.7 An air-filled capacitor consists of two parallel plates, each with an area of 7.60 cm 2, separated by a distance of 1.80 mm. A 20.0-V potential difference is applied to these plates. Calculate (a) the electric field between the plates, (b) the surface charge density, (c) the capacitance, and (d) the charge on each plate.

15 Question 26.9 When a potential difference of 150 V is applied to the plates of a parallel-plate capacitor, the plates carry a surface charge density of 30.0 nc/cm 2. What is the spacing between the plates?

16 Circuit Symbols A circuit diagram is a simplified representation of an actual circuit Circuit symbols are used to represent the various elements Lines are used to represent wires The battery s positive terminal is indicated by the longer line

17 Capacitors in Parallel When capacitors are first connected in the circuit, electrons are transferred from the left plates through the battery to the right plate, leaving the left plate positively charged and the right plate negatively charged

18 Capacitors in parallel

19 Capacitors in series

20 Capacitors in Parallel, 2 The total charge is equal to the sum of the charges on the capacitors Q total = Q 1 + Q 2 The potential difference across the capacitors is the same = voltage of the battery

21 Capacitors in Parallel, 3 The capacitors can be replaced with one capacitor with a capacitance of C eq

22 Capacitors in Parallel, final C eq = C 1 + C 2 + The equivalent capacitance of a parallel combination of capacitors is greater than any of the individual capacitors

23 Capacitors in Series When a battery is connected to the circuit, electrons are transferred from the left plate of C 1 to the right plate of C 2 through the battery

24 Capacitors in Series, 2 An equivalent capacitor can be found that performs the same function as the series combination The potential differences add up to the battery voltage

25 Capacitors in Series, final Q = Q 1 + Q 2 + ΔV = V 1 + V C C C eq 1 2 The equivalent capacitance of a series combination is always less than any individual capacitor in the combination

26 Example 26.4 The 1.0-mF and 3.0-mF capacitors are in parallel as are the 6.0-mF and 2.0-mF capacitors These parallel combinations are in series with the capacitors next to them The series combinations are in parallel and the final equivalent capacitance can be found

27 Question Evaluate the equivalent capacitance of the configuration shown in Figure P All the capacitors are identical, and each has capacitance C.

28 Question 26.21

29

30 Energy Stored in a Capacitor Assume the capacitor is being charged and, at some point, has a charge q on it The work needed to transfer a charge from one plate to the other is q dw Vdq dq C The total work required is W Q 2 C Q q dq 0 C 2

31 Energy, cont The work done in charging the capacitor appears as electric potential energy U: 2 Q 1 1 ( ) 2 U Q V C V 2C 2 2 This applies to a capacitor of any geometry The energy stored increases as the charge increases and as the potential difference increases In practice, there is a maximum voltage before discharge occurs between the plates

32 Energy, final The energy can be considered to be stored in the electric field For a parallel-plate capacitor, the energy can be expressed in terms of the field as U = ½ (ε o Ad)E 2 It can also be expressed in terms of the energy density (energy per unit volume) u E = ½ e o E 2

33 Some Uses of Capacitors Defibrillators When fibrillation occurs, the heart produces a rapid, irregular pattern of beats A fast discharge of electrical energy through the heart can return the organ to its normal beat pattern In general, capacitors act as energy reservoirs that can be slowly charged and then discharged quickly to provide large amounts of energy in a short pulse

34 Capacitors with Dielectrics A dielectric is a nonconducting material that, when placed between the plates of a capacitor, increases the capacitance Dielectrics include rubber, plastic, and waxed paper For a parallel-plate capacitor, C = κc o = κε o (A/d) The capacitance is multiplied by the factor κ when the dielectric completely fills the region between the plates

35 Dielectrics, cont In theory, d could be made very small to create a very large capacitance In practice, there is a limit to d d is limited by the electric discharge that could occur though the dielectric medium separating the plates For a given d, the maximum voltage that can be applied to a capacitor without causing a discharge depends on the dielectric strength of the material

36 Dielectrics, final Dielectrics provide the following advantages: Increase in capacitance Increase the maximum operating voltage Possible mechanical support between the plates This allows the plates to be close together without touching This decreases d and increases C

37

38 Types of Capacitors Tubular Metallic foil may be interlaced with thin sheets of paper or Mylar The layers are rolled into a cylinder to form a small package for the capacitor

39 Types of Capacitors Oil Filled Common for highvoltage capacitors A number of interwoven metallic plates are immersed in silicon oil

40 Types of Capacitors Electrolytic Used to store large amounts of charge at relatively low voltages The electrolyte is a solution that conducts electricity by virtue of motion of ions contained in the solution

41 Types of Capacitors Variable Variable capacitors consist of two interwoven sets of metallic plates One plate is fixed and the other is movable These capacitors generally vary between 10 and 500 pf Used in radio tuning circuits

42 Example 26.6

43 Example 26.6

44 Example 26.6

45 Example 26.7

46 Example 26.7

47 Example 26.7

48 Geometry of Some Capacitors

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