Ok, so I've heard two conflicting things about real capacitors and I'm trying to clear up my understanding. It's possible they were in different contexts. This pertains to a RC circuit. It's a real capacitor so it will have some internal resistance too. It's also a high-voltage capacitor (rated at about 40kV) 1) I first heard that the larger the resistor is, the less time it will take for the capacitor to discharge (the problem being it could discharge too fast with too large of a resistor). My intuition didn't agree with this, but I looked at the equation: V = Vo*exp(-t/RC) as R --> 0, V = 0 for all t as R --> inf, V = Vo for all t And I found I could interpret to agree with his claim, but I'm not sure about my interpretation (that V = 0 means no current flows at all and V = Vo means the applied voltage flows) But if you look at the current: I = (Vo/R)*e(-t/RC) as R --> 0, I blows up as R --> inf, I = 0 With this interpretation, the opposite is true: 2) that a smaller resistor will discharge the capacitor faster. This makes more sense with the time constant: tau = RC (bigger R means bigger tau) It's possible that 1) was in the context of energy dissipation, considering the power rating of the components (namely the resistor). Any thoughts on this?