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Parallel Plate Capacitors

  1. Feb 25, 2013 #1

    I am currently reading about what has been alluded to in the title of this thread. I attached a diagram, as it will be of some help.

    Okay, in my textbook it says:

    After the battery is attached to the circuit, the capacitors quickly reach their
    maximum charge. Let’s call the maximum charges on the two capacitors [itex]Q_1[/itex] and [itex]Q_2[/itex]. The total charge [itex]Q_{tot}[/itex] stored by the two capacitors is the sum of the charges on the individual capacitors: [itex]Q_{tot} = Q_1 + Q_2[/itex].

    My question is, wouldn't Q1 and Q2 both be zero, once the plates have been charged; that is, the electrons flow from the negative terminal into the plate on the right side, building up negative charge, which then repels all of the electrons in the adjacent plate, causing positive charge to build up?

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 25, 2013 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    When they speak of the charge stored on a capacitor, they mean the magnitude of the charge on each plate. (The total charge on both plates is of course zero.)
  4. Feb 25, 2013 #3
    Oh, okay. Thanks!
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