I have a very basic beginners question in physics and was wondering where to post it. The post is going to be: TITLE What is the difference between an electric dipole and a capacitor ? I am a trying to understand the difference between an electric dipole and a capacitor. The wikipedia entries for the definition are causing me confusion in that they appear to say they are the same thing. Capacitor A capacitor is a passive electrical component that can store energy in the electric field between a pair of conductors (called "plates"). The process of storing energy in the capacitor is known as "charging", and involves electric charges of equal magnitude, but opposite polarity, building up on each plate. Electric Dipole An electric dipole is a separation of positive and negative charge. The simplest example of this is a pair of electric charges of equal magnitude but opposite sign, separated by some, usually small, distance. Both an electric dipole and a capacitor are defined as a seperation of positive and negative charges seperated by a small distance. Are they actually the same thing ? If not how would they be defined as different to each other.