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AC Applied to a capacitor and dielectric effects?

  1. Dec 13, 2011 #1
    Hi all,

    An electrolytic capacitor has 2 AC sources connected to it, 1 at each plate. The AC sources are 180 degrees out of phase and have a high impedance which limits current in the nA range. Even though each plate should have AC on it which is 180 out of phase the voltage at each plate looks identical to the output of a bridge rectifier. One plate has all positive pulses while the other plate has all negative pusles.
    Can anyone explain to me why this is happening or how it could even be possible?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2011 #2


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    The problem might be the electrolytic capacitor.

    These are not built to take AC voltage and may act like a rectifier if the current through them is restricted.

    Normally, if large currents can flow, applying AC to an electrolytic capacitor will destroy it.
  4. Dec 13, 2011 #3
    Awesome, is there anywhere where I can find more information or read more about this effect?

    -Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  5. Dec 13, 2011 #4


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