# Equivalent Capacitance: Distinguishing Parallel/Series

• PNGeng
In summary, equivalent capacitance is the combined capacitance of two or more capacitors in a circuit, representing the total amount of charge that can be stored. To calculate equivalent capacitance for capacitors in parallel, simply add the individual capacitance values together. For capacitors in series, use the formula 1/Ceq = 1/C1 + 1/C2 + 1/C3 +..., where Ceq is the equivalent capacitance and C1, C2, C3, etc. are the individual capacitance values. The equivalent capacitance for capacitors in parallel is always greater than the individual capacitance values, while the equivalent capacitance for capacitors in series is always less than the individual capacitance values. It
PNGeng

## Homework Statement

I'm having trouble distinguishing exactly which combinations are in parallel and which are in series. The fact that both ends of the circuit are open is throwing me off. Can someone walk me through this?

PNGeng said:

## Homework Statement

I'm having trouble distinguishing exactly which combinations are in parallel and which are in series. The fact that both ends of the circuit are open is throwing me off. Can someone walk me through this?

Open ends means that no current can flow there and so no influence on the circuit. Just remove any dangling components.

Got it, thanks!

## 1. What is equivalent capacitance?

Equivalent capacitance is the combined capacitance of two or more capacitors in a circuit. It represents the total amount of charge that can be stored in the circuit.

## 2. How do I calculate equivalent capacitance for capacitors in parallel?

To calculate equivalent capacitance for capacitors in parallel, simply add the individual capacitance values together. The total capacitance is equal to the sum of all the individual capacitance values.

## 3. How do I calculate equivalent capacitance for capacitors in series?

To calculate equivalent capacitance for capacitors in series, use the formula 1/Ceq = 1/C1 + 1/C2 + 1/C3 +..., where Ceq is the equivalent capacitance and C1, C2, C3, etc. are the individual capacitance values.

## 4. How does the equivalent capacitance differ for capacitors in parallel and series?

The equivalent capacitance for capacitors in parallel is always greater than the individual capacitance values, whereas the equivalent capacitance for capacitors in series is always less than the individual capacitance values. This is because in parallel, the capacitors add together to increase the total capacitance, while in series, the capacitors reduce the total capacitance.

## 5. Why is it important to distinguish between parallel and series capacitors when calculating equivalent capacitance?

It is important to distinguish between parallel and series capacitors when calculating equivalent capacitance because the values and effects on the circuit will be different. Using the incorrect calculation method can result in incorrect circuit analysis and potentially damage the circuit.

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