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Homework Help: Capacitor charging a capacitor

  1. Apr 2, 2014 #1
    Hi there!

    I have a problem that I would like explaining if possible (I like to go a bit beyond the GCSE course to get a deeper understanding of the topics!).

    Basically if I had a charged capacitor Cx with a voltage Vo across it which is connected in series with another capacitor Cy and a resistor. The switch is closed so that Cx now discharges across Cy (causing Cy to charge up) and the resistor.

    My question is what would the voltage graphs look like for both of the resistors, would they both end up with the same voltage across them (I know the shapes would be the the typical capacitor discharging for Cx and capacitor charging for Cy) or would they both have different voltages? I also think they would both store exactly the same charge once the system has come to equilibrium.

    Anyone help me out?

    btw here is the info I was looking at: http://web.mit.edu/viz/EM/visualizations/coursenotes/modules/guide05.pdf
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2014 #2


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    Once the charge is finished distributing, you have 2 caps in parallel with the resistor not counting, since no current is flowing at that time.

    Can two caps in parallel have different voltages?
  4. Apr 2, 2014 #3
    If everything is originally in series how does it become parallel when the charge has been distributed sorry?
  5. Apr 2, 2014 #4


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    Gold Member

    Draw two caps in a loop. You can say they are in series OR parallel, but the voltage will act like they are in parallel.
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