RC Circuit (Discharging Capacitor) Virtual Lab | PraxiLabs

RC Circuit (Discharging Capacitor) Virtual Lab Simulation

Physics | Electricity

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General Aim

Study the variation of discharge voltage of the capacitor with time.*Determine the time constant τ.*Determine the experimental value of the capacitor's capacitance of C.*Calculate the percentage error for the capacitance.


Discharge capacitor (decrease of voltage with time)

Learning Objectives (ILO’s)

  • See the benefits of using the capacitor and what is the capacitance of the capacitor.

  • Study the variation of discharge voltage with time and this depends on capacitance and resistance.

  • Calculate the capacitor's capacitance and time constant.

Theoretical Background/Context

A capacitor is a device that stores electric energy in an electric field form. A capacitor consists of two conductors separated by a small distance. When the conductors are connected to a charging device (for example, a battery), the charge is transferred from one conductor to the other until the difference in potential between the conductors becomes equal to the potential difference between the terminals of the charging device. The amount of charge stored on either conductor is directly proportional to the voltage, and the constant of proportionality is known as the capacitance.

Principle of Work

When turning off the switch key, the capacitor starts charging until it reaches maximum voltage (Vs). When we turn on the switch key, the voltage on the capacitor decreases with time (t) until it reaches zero voltage. we can calculate the time constant, the capacitance of the capacitor, and the voltage at any time during the discharge process.

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