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- Created 2012-02-26
(originally known as
) is a
used to store
. The forms of practical capacitors vary widely, but all contain at least two
s separated by a
(insulator); for example, one common construction consists of metal foils separated by a thin layer of insulating film. Capacitors are widely used as parts of
s in many common electrical devices.
When there is a
(voltage) across the conductors, a static
develops across the dielectric, causing positive charge to collect on one plate and negative charge on the other plate.
is stored in the electrostatic field. An ideal capacitor is characterized by a single constant value,
, measured in
s. This is the ratio of the
on each conductor to the potential difference between them.
The capacitance is greatest when there is a narrow separation between large areas of conductor, hence capacitor conductors are often called
, referring to an early means of construction. In practice, the dielectric between the plates passes a small amount of
and also has an electric field strength limit, resulting in a
, while the conductors and
s introduce an undesired
Capacitors are widely used in electronic circuits for blocking
to pass, in filter networks, for smoothing the output of
, in the
s that tune radios to particular
, in electric power transmission systems for stabilizing voltage and power flow, and for many other purposes.
from Wikipedia (last updated: 14 May), licensed under
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