# Concept: Question on formation of parallel capacitors

• physicslearner
In summary, the conversation was about solving capacitor problems and understanding the concept of parallel and series connections. The expert explained that in electrical circuits, the geometry is not relevant, only the connectivity. Parallel means that the contacts of two components are connected to each other, while series means that electrons have to pass through both components. This helped the person asking the question understand how C3 and C4 were parallel in their problem.
physicslearner
1. So my teacher gave us examples of how to solve capacitor problems. I know how to solve the problem but I don't this problem's particular "formation" of parallel capacitors. In this problem, my teacher says C3 and C4 are parallel but when I did the problem, I assumed it was series. Can anyone explain how C3 and C4 are parallel? I assumed there needed to be another capacitor directly across from them to become parallel, rather than in a 90 degree formation like C3 and C4.

## The Attempt at a Solution

In electrical circuits, the geometry is not relevant, only the connectivity. If you have two components with two contacts each, parallel means each contact on one is connected to a contact on the other, i.e. they are side by side as far as the network is concerned. Electrons in the circuit can pass through either. Series means electrons have to pass through both.

haruspex said:
In electrical circuits, the geometry is not relevant, only the connectivity. If you have two components with two contacts each, parallel means each contact on one is connected to a contact on the other, i.e. they are side by side as far as the network is concerned. Electrons in the circuit can pass through either. Series means electrons have to pass through both.

OH! When you put it that way, it makes sense now. Thanks Haruspex.

Try "sliding" C4 to the right and around the corner into the vertical wire.

## 1. How do capacitors in parallel behave?

When capacitors are connected in parallel, their capacitances add up and the total capacitance is equal to the sum of the individual capacitances. This means that the effective capacitance is larger than that of a single capacitor, and the parallel capacitors can store more charge.

## 2. How do you calculate the total capacitance of parallel capacitors?

To calculate the total capacitance of parallel capacitors, simply add up the individual capacitances. For example, if you have three capacitors with values of 10μF, 15μF, and 20μF, the total capacitance would be 45μF.

## 3. What is the purpose of using parallel capacitors?

Parallel capacitors are often used to increase the total capacitance in a circuit. This can be useful in applications where a larger capacitance is needed, such as in filters or power supplies.

## 4. How does the voltage across parallel capacitors compare?

In parallel capacitors, the voltage across each capacitor is the same. This is because the capacitors are connected across a common voltage source, and the voltage is shared among them.

## 5. Can parallel capacitors be used to increase the voltage rating?

No, parallel capacitors cannot be used to increase the voltage rating. The voltage rating of the parallel capacitors will be the same as the individual capacitors. However, using parallel capacitors can increase the capacitance and therefore the overall energy storage capacity of the circuit.

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