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Series capacitors, charge

  1. May 3, 2015 #1
    So in a series capacitor arrangement, I understand that the charge on each capacitor is the same. I also appreciate that you can replace the array with an effective capacitor. What I am not in agreement with is the fact that the charge on this effective capacitor is the same as the charge on one of the capacitors. Surely if they all have accumulated the same amount of electrons than you should multiply the number of capacitors by this amount to get the effective charge. What is being said to me is that the total charge In the circuit is equal to the charge on one capacitor?!

    Please rescue me from this conceptual calamity.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 3, 2015 #2
    Yeah, that doesn't sound right. What they probably mean is that the charges are the same as that *one* effective capacitor.
  4. May 3, 2015 #3

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    You do realize that the net charge on that string of capacitors, including all plates, would be zero? Consider the plates at either end of the string of capacitors: those are the plates of the equivalent capacitor. (The charge on the intermediate plates all cancels out.)
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