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Capacitors/Current/Ohm's Law - Please help I'm so confused!

  1. Feb 6, 2013 #1
    How do I go about solving this?

    CAPACITORS_zps383921c2.png

    Whenever I see a capacitor diagram/an image like this i always freak about because
    1) I don't know what to ask myself when I see it
    2) I'm not sure I know what's going on - other than the fact the the | | means: +| |-
    I don't know what the squiggly lines /\/\/ mean either :(
    3) I don't know how to solve this particular problem or how the pieces fit together.
    4) I don't know how to distinguish a capacitor in series and a capacitor in parallel - especially in this problem

    Please help! I've studied for the physics test im about to take tonight at 7 pm and I've understood all the plug and chug problems.
    It's this stuff in particular I just don't get.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    You should hold in your head the picture of two plates with charge on them like you did in class ... these are just two conductors like any other conductor.
    (It sounds like you need to revise the circuit diagram symbols too.)

    You need to understand how charges move about on conductors.
    You need to know the equations for combining capacitors.
    You need to know the relationship between the voltage across a capacitor and it's charge.

    Thing is, this sort of problem is about understanding things, not sticking numbers into equations.
     
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