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Homework Help: Capacitors in series and parallel

  1. Mar 10, 2006 #1
    A battery of potential V stores charge q on a combintation of two identical capacitors. What are the potential difference across and the charge on either capacitor if the capacitors are (a) in parallel (b) iin series?

    I know the answers to these questions but I'm trying to understand the conceptul ideas behind this question. The answers are:

    (a) V, q/2

    (b) V/2, q

    Any ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2006 #2
    Do you understand the concepts behind parallel vs. series capacitors?
  4. Mar 10, 2006 #3
    Yes I do, but could you elaborate a little?
  5. Mar 10, 2006 #4
    anyone else have any inuput?
  6. Mar 10, 2006 #5


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    Voltage is potential difference . (V_C - V_B) + (V_B - V_A) = (V_C - V_A).

    Charge is conserved, just like mass is.
  7. Mar 10, 2006 #6
    What does the 'B' stand for ?
  8. Mar 10, 2006 #7


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    A, B, C are locations. Potential (V) is a function of location.
    Voltage, a potential DIFFERENCE, is a function of a REGION (Capacitor gap).

    with Capacitors in series, A is bottom plate, C is top plate, B is either middle plate.
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