Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Concept : Capacitors in Parallel

  1. Jul 27, 2011 #1
    What is the conceptual perspective of why equivalent capacitance is in parallel is more than the individual capacitance?
    (assume we have a parallel network of capacitors of equal value)

    I know the formulae, decoded the concept behind the eq cap in series but couldn't make any sense out of the parallel combo!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 27, 2011 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Are you familiar with the equation that is used to calculate the capacitance of a simple parallel plate capacitor?

    [tex]C = \frac{\epsilon A} {d}[/tex]

    Where A is the plate area and d is the plate separation. What can you say about the effective area of two caps in parallel? What does that do to the capacitance C in that equation? :smile:
  4. Jul 27, 2011 #3
    Capacitance is C = q/V .
    I say, Capacitance of the capacitor in my hand is 10 Columb per Volt. Which means, If I put in 10 Columbs of charge into it I will get a voltage rise of 1 Volt.
    So, If I have two such capacitors in parallel, I would have to put 20 Columb to get a voltage rise of 1 Volt.
    So, two 10 columb per volt capacitor in parallel is 20 columb per volt capacitor (because, they have to share the charges (unlike series configuration))
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook