I've examined in lab how a capacitor acts within a circuit. In a case where we charge a capacitor in series with a bulb and then another capacitor, I get the circuit in charging.png. So lets say electrons in the circuit flow from the positive end to the negative end and the circuit flows like it is labeled in Charging electron flow.png, the circuits become charged and the two plates of a capacitor are polarized, thus storing charge. Once the circuit is activated, the bulb lights up briefly and then it dims. Why does this happen at the atomic level? Next, we removed the battery and connected the circuit as it is with the charged capacitors as shown in discharging.png. Again, the bulb light up briefly and then dimmed shortly after. What happened to the charge? Is any charge or electricity lost during this connection? My knowledge up to this point is basic interaction of charges, Coulomb's law, Gauss's law, and potential (voltage) calculations. I assume that whenever a circuit is completely charged, it will repel incoming electrons from the battery and therefore current will not flow. Am I right or wrong? My thoughts of the discharging circuit are that some of the charge on the negative plates will travel to the positive plates and spread equally throughout the wire. Since they will be in equilibrium, there will be no flow and therefore the capacitors will be neutrally charged. Am I also right or wrong in this? To summarize my questions: In the charging circuit: If flow really does stop when the capacitor is charged, then why, atomically, does it stop? In the discharging circuit: Is any charge lost during the discharging of the capacitors? If so, how? Are the directions of current flow opposite in the charging and discharging circuit? Thanks in advance you guys.