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Homework Help: Capacitance and energy stored

  1. Nov 6, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    you have a 10 volt battery and two separate circuits with capacitors. One circuit has the capacitors in series, the other has the capacitors in parallel. Find the energy stored

    one capacitor is 5.3 microfarads
    the other capacitor is 2.4 microfarads

    2. Relevant equations
    energy = (Q^2)/(2C)

    3. The attempt at a solution
    after finding the equivalent capacitance, would you just add the total amount of charge stored on each capacitor to find charge?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2007 #2


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    Homework Helper

    tough to say without the picture...

    if two capacitors are in series, then each capacitor has the same charge... and the equivalent capacitor has that same charge...

    if two capacitors are in parallel, then the charge on the equiv. capacitance is the sum of the charges on each capacitor.
  4. Nov 6, 2007 #3
    so for the series capacitor, which holds the same amt charge on each capacitor, you wouldn't add the two charges on each capacitor together to get Q?
  5. Nov 6, 2007 #4


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    no. the total charge is the same as the charge on each capacitor. have a look at this:

    http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~vawter/PhysicsNet/Topics/Capacitors/ParSeriesCap.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
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