# Equivalent capacitance; complex circuit

• aak5789
In summary, the conversation discusses finding the equivalent capacitance of a complex circuit and provides a method for simplifying the circuit by grouping certain capacitors together. The method involves creating four groups of capacitors and finding the equivalent capacitance for each group, which can then be used to find the overall equivalent capacitance of the circuit.
aak5789
[SOLVED] Equivalent capacitance; complex circuit

## Homework Statement

Hello, I was assigned a problem where we are supposed to find the equivalent capacitance of a circuit, and then use that to answer some other questions. However, I'm not sure how to handle this circuit.

http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/3756/circuitph8.th.gif

## Homework Equations

We're using the equations where C(series) = (C1^-1 + C2^-1 +...)^-1 and C(||) = C1 + C2 + ...

## The Attempt at a Solution

My immediate thought was to find the equivalent capacitance of C2, C3 and C4 using C234 = C2 + (C3^-1 + C4^-1)^-1. But, after that I'm not quite sure what to do, since the capacitors are now connected in a pattern where C1 and C234 connect together on a path that connects between C5 and C6. I didn't post the numbers for each capacitor as I figure I don't need to burden you with number crunching, but any ideas on how to simplify this circuit would be immensely helpful. Thanks.

Last edited by a moderator:
My suggestion is to group as follows:

1. CA = C3+C4
2. CB = C5 + (CA) + C2
3. CC = C6+C1
4. CD = CC+CB

With the + symbol indicating the equivalent capacitance which is not necessarily an addition.

Thank you very much, that did the trick.

## 1. What is equivalent capacitance?

Equivalent capacitance refers to the effective capacitance of a complex circuit that can replace all the individual capacitors in the circuit while maintaining the same overall effect on the flow of electric charge and voltage.

## 2. How is equivalent capacitance calculated?

The equivalent capacitance of a series circuit is calculated by adding together the reciprocals of the individual capacitances. For a parallel circuit, it is calculated by adding together the individual capacitances.

## 3. Can the equivalent capacitance of a complex circuit be greater than the sum of its individual capacitances?

Yes, the equivalent capacitance of a parallel circuit can be greater than the sum of its individual capacitances. This is because the total capacitance is influenced by the added surface area of the plates in parallel, allowing for a larger charge storage capacity.

## 4. What is the relationship between equivalent capacitance and the total charge stored in a circuit?

The equivalent capacitance of a complex circuit is directly proportional to the total charge stored in the circuit. This means that as the equivalent capacitance increases, so does the amount of charge that can be stored in the circuit.

## 5. How does the placement of capacitors affect the equivalent capacitance of a circuit?

The placement of capacitors in a circuit can affect the equivalent capacitance. In series circuits, capacitors decrease the equivalent capacitance, while in parallel circuits, they increase the equivalent capacitance.

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