Home Page of Peggy E. Schweiger

## Data Analysis -- Charging and Discharging a Capacitor

Each group must include a copy of your graphs.

- Calculate a theoretical value for the charging half-life. Show all work.
- Calculate a theoretical value for the discharging half-life. Show all work.
- Using the experimental value for the charging half-life, calculate an experimental value
for the capacitance.
- Using the experimental value for the discharging half-life, calculate an experimental value
for the capacitance.

## Questions -- Charging and Discharging a Capacitor

- Calculate a percentage difference between the theoretical and the experimental value for the charging half-life. Repeat for the discharging half-life. Show all work.
- Calculate a percentage difference between the theoretical and the experimental value for the capacitance. Do for both procedures, charging and discharging. Show all work.
- The industry standard for capacitance allows a 20% difference between the theoretical and the experimental values for the capacitance. Is your
percentage difference within this range? What are
**two** factors that could account for this percentage difference? Answer for both the charging and the
discharging procedures.
- Why does the area under the curve for the current vs time graph represent the charge stored in the capacitor? Use dimensional analysis to
support your answer.
- Knowing the
**charge** stored on the capacitor and the maximum voltage, calculate the energy stored in the capacitor. Do this for the charging and the discharging procedures. Show all work. (This will be
a theoretical value for the energy.)
- Calculate a value for the energy stored in the capacitor, knowing your
**experimental** value for the capacitance and the maximum voltage. Do this for the charging and the discharging procedures.
Show all work. (This will be an experimental value for the energy.)
- Compare the answers to five and six using a percentage error calculation. Do this for the charging and the discharging procedures. Show all work.
- Why did voltage start at a minimum and reach a maximum as the capacitor charged? In your answer, define voltage. Relate the definition of
voltage to the process of charging a capacitor.
- Why did current start at a maximum and reach a minimum as the capacitor charged? In your answer, define current. Relate the definition of
current to the process of charging a capacitor.