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Calculate the equivalent capacitance of the circuit

  1. May 30, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Calculate the equivalent capacitance of the circuit shown in the diagram above; where C1 = 5.30 microF, C2 = 8.45 microF, C3 = 5.65 microF, and C4 = 8.60 microF.

    2. Relevant equations
    parallel: Ceq = C1 + C2 + etc
    series 1/Ceq = 1/C1 + 1/C2 + etc

    3. The attempt at a solution


    This is the picture ^^

    I tried to move it around a little and i ended up seeing that C3 and C4 are in series. And the C2 is in parallel with C34. and C1 is in series with C234. is this right?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 30, 2012 #2
    You are absolutely correct. :smile:
  4. May 30, 2012 #3
    ok so i had a little help for my answer. so i dont fully understand how C2 is parallel with C34 ?? is there some way you could try to explain it?
  5. May 30, 2012 #4
    Start by making a simplified circuit of your question. It will make things clear.
  6. May 30, 2012 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Keep in mind that the geometrical presentation of the circuit diagram is not important, it is the connections of the components that are important. Slanted or bent "wires" do not change their essential function: to connect the components. Feel free to straighten out the alignment of components or remove the "kinks" from wires; so long as the component interconnections remain the same, the circuit remains the same.

    In the given diagram you can orient capacitor C2 vertically and remove the "kink" in the C3-C4 connection and make them vertically oriented too. Does that address your query?
  7. May 31, 2012 #6
    so the wire that C2 is on will be vertical .. any other way you can explain "remove the "kink" in the C3-C4 connection" ? i don't see how C4 can be oriented vertically
  8. May 31, 2012 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    Treat all the wires as though they were elastic and can be stretched or bent at will. Can't you just grab C4 and turn it so that it becomes vertically oriented, and straightening out the C3-C4 kink at the same time?
  9. Jun 1, 2012 #8
    How the wire goes or even how log the wire is doesn't matter. Wires (theoretically) are considered to be of zero resistance.

    Also, to identify if the components are in series or parallel, look at the potential drop and current through then, if poential drop across two components (here C34 and C2) is same, they are in parallel. And if it isn't, they are in series.

    Or in current view, if current is equal, the components are in series. And in same way If current is different, they are in parallel

    This might help you ...


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