Capacitors in Series

Capacitors in Series

A Capacitor is an electronic component which is capable of storing the electric charges, especially the one which consists of two or more conductors separated by type of dielectric material.

Like different kinds of electrical circuit devices, the capacitors are also used in combination with the circuits. The combinations can either be in series connection(where multiple capacitors are found in the same pathway of wire) and also in parallel (where multiple types of capacitors are found along the various pathway of wire).

A capacitor is like the two plates that are placed very close to each other, and the basic function of a capacitor is to hold a group of electrons. If the value of capacitance is Greater; it can hold a number of electrons. The increase in the size of plates increases the capacitance as there is more space for the electrons to come out.

Series Combination of Capacitors

When the capacitors are connected in the form of series combination, the capacitance in total is less than the individual capacitances of the series capacitors. If one, two or number of capacitors are connected in the series form, the overall effect is the single or equivalent capacitor which has the total sum of the spacings between the plates of the individual capacitors. The increase in the plate spacing results in the decreased capacitance, with all the other factors remaining unchanged.

 Capacitors in Series

The series combination of capacitors is as shown in the above figure. Thus, the total capacitance of the series combination of capacitors is less than the individual capacitances of the capacitors. The formula to calculate the total capacitance of the series combination of capacitors is in the same form as that for calculating the parallel combination of resistances. The figure below shows the formula to calculate the total capacitance of capacitors connected in series.

 Capacitors in Series

Capacitors in Series Equation

 Capacitors in Series

When adding the series capacitors, the reciprocal ( 1/C ) of all the individual capacitors are added together ( just like the resistors in the parallel combination ) instead of capacitances themselves. The total value of the capacitors in form of series combination equals to the reciprocal of the sum of the reciprocal of their individual capacitances.

Remember in the series combination circuit of the capacitor, there is only one path for the flow of electric current. The number of electrons discharging from the bottom will have the same number of electrons from the top, thus increasing the capacitance.

Thus, in the series circuit, the space between the capacitors are farther apart as the space between the plates of two capacitors adds together.


Practise This Question

Rutherford was unable to explain which of the following points in his model?