I just had a test, and I'm wondering how to do one of the free responses on it. The first couple parts, which I'll omit, were pretty simple, but I got kind of lost toward the end. Two Capacitors (C1=10microF C2=40microF) are connected in parallel to a 10V battery. The capacitors are then disconnected from the battery and rewired so that their positive sides are connected to the other capacitor's negative side. a) What is the voltage drop across each capacitor? b) Does the potential energy increase, decrease, or remain the same. If it changes, what is the percentage increase or decrease of the system? c) Why did the capacitor system gain or lose energy if it did? Where did that energy come from or go? For part "a," I found original Qeq. Qo = (10microF + 40microF) * 10V = 500microC; Q1 = Q2 = 250microC; V1 = 250microC / 10microF = 25V; V2 = 250microC / 40 microF = 6.25V Moving onto part "b," I thought conceptually that the system would have to lose energy since charges would have to be redistributed across the plates to even out. I then used U = Q2 / (2 * C) = 500microC2 / (2 * 8microF) = .015625J This doesn't make sense since that is a big increase from the .0025J of the original configuration. I treated part "c" like I did conceptually for part "b" and went with it decreasing. If anyone could help me with this, I'd greatly appreciate it.