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Al Nahda National Schools (Boys)

Grade: 12G,H & I

Physics
Worksheet: Capacitors

Teacher: Nidal Al Halabi

1.

Express the ohm and the farad in terms of SI base units.


Ohm ...
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Farad ......
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Hence show that ohm x farad = second.
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Most d.c. power supplies include a smoothing capacitor to minimise the variation in the
output voltage by storing charge. In a particular power supply, a capacitor of 40 000 F is
used. It charges up quickly to 12.0 V, then discharges to 10.5 V over the next 10.0 ms, and
then charges again to 12.0 V. The process then repeats continually.
Calculate the charge on the capacitor at the beginning and at the end of the 10.0 ms discharge
period.
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What is the average current during the discharge?
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Al Nahda National Schools/ A-Level Physics Dept.

The discharge times for the smoothing capacitors in modern computer power supplies are
reduced to a minimum. Explain one advantage of this reduced discharge time.
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2.

A student assembles the circuit shown in which the switch is initially open and the capacitor
uncharged.
220 k

9.0 V

He closes the switch and reads the microammeter at regular intervals of time. The battery
maintains a steady p.d. of 9.0 V throughout. The graph shows how the current I varies with
the time t since the switch was closed.

50

40

30

20

10

0
0

50

100

150

200

250

300
t/s
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Use the graph to estimate the total charge delivered to the capacitor.
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Estimate its capacitance.
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3.

The circuit shown is used to charge a capacitor.

The graph shows the charge stored on the capacitor whilst it is being charged.
40
Charge/C
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0

4
Time/s

On the same axes, sketch as accurately as you can a graph of current against time.
Label the current axis with an appropriate scale.
The power supply is 3 V. Calculate the resistance of the charging circuit.
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Al Nahda National Schools/ A-Level Physics Dept.

4.

State the relationship between current and charge


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Two students are studying the charging of a capacitor using the circuit shown. The voltmeter
has a very high resistance.
S
mA

9.0 V

V
R
Rheostat which is continually
adjusted to keep current
constant

The capacitor is initially uncharged. At time zero, one student closes switch S. She watches
the milliammeter and continually adjusts the rheostat R so that there is a constant current in
the circuit. Her partner records the voltage across the capacitor at regular intervals of time.
The graph below shows how this voltage changes with time.

10
V/V
8

10

20

30

t/s

40

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Al Nahda National Schools/ A-Level Physics Dept.

Explain why the graph is a straight line.


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The capacitance used was 4700 F. Use the graph to determine the charging current.
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In order to keep the current constant, did the student have to increase or decrease the
resistance of the rheostat as time passed? Explain your answer.
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The students repeat the experiment, with the capacitor initially uncharged. The initial current
is the same as before, but this time the first student forgets to adjust the rheostat and leaves it
at a fixed value. Draw a second graph on the same axes to show qualitatively how the
voltage across the capacitor will now change with time.

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5.

A capacitor C1 is connected to a supply. When a potential difference of 4.0 V is applied


across the capacitor, it stores a charge of 0.80 nC.

C1

(a)

(i)

4.0 V

Calculate the electrical work done by the supply as it transfers this charge.
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(ii)
(b)

Mark on the diagram above the magnitudes and polarities of the charges stored
on the plates of the capacitor.

A graph of charge stored against potential difference across the capacitor is shown.
Charge stored on C1 /nC

0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0.0
0

1.0

2.0

3.0

4.0

Potential difference / V

Explain how this graph supports the fact that the charged capacitor is storing 1.6 nJ of
energy.
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Al Nahda National Schools/ A-Level Physics Dept.

(c)

With capacitor C1 charged to 4.0 V, the supply is removed and a second, uncharged
capacitor C2 is connected in its place as shown.

C1

C2

Capacitor C1 transfers some of its charge to the plates of capacitor C2. As a result the
potential difference across C1 falls to 3.0 V.
(i)

By referring to the graph for capacitor C1, deduce how much charge transfers to
capacitor C2.
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(ii)

On the grid below, show how the charge stored on capacitor C 2 varies with
potential difference during this charge transfer process.

Charge stored on C2 /nC

0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0.0
0

(iii)

1.0

2.0

3.0

4.0

Potential difference / V

Use the values you have plotted to find the capacitance of capacitor C 2.
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Al Nahda National Schools/ A-Level Physics Dept.

6.

The diagram shows a capacitor and a resistor connected to a 6.0 V battery. Both the ammeter
and the battery have negligible internal resistance.
560F
200 k

A
6.0 V

The switch is closed. Some time later the ammeter reads 20 A.


(a)

Show that the potential difference across the capacitor at this instant is 2.0 V.
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(b)

Calculate the charge stored in the capacitor when the potential difference across it is
2.0 V.
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(c)

Calculate the electrical energy now stored in the capacitor.


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(d)

Calculate the electrical energy transferred in the battery up to this instant.


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(e)

What is the main reason for the difference between the energy values you have
calculated in (c) and (d)?
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Al Nahda National Schools/ A-Level Physics Dept.

7.

The timer on an electric toaster uses a resistor-capacitor circuit. When the bread is lowered,
switch S1 is closed and the capacitor C starts to charge up. When the voltage across it
reaches 4.0 V, another circuit is activated which makes the toast pop up, and at the same time
switch S2 is opened and switch S1 is closed for a few seconds (to discharge the capacitor).
The resistor R can be varied. The capacitance C = 100 F.

S1

S2

6.0 V

To pop-up
circuit

Calculate the energy stored in the capacitor when the voltage across it reaches 4.0 V.
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Which parts of this circuit will transfer this energy to the surroundings at the end of the
toasting cycle?
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Discuss whether this energy transfer process may damage the toaster.
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The toaster is set so that switch S1 opens after 200 s. Complete the graph below to show how
the voltage across the capacitor will vary with time from the moment (at t = 0 s) when S1 is
closed.
p.d./V
6.0
4.0
2.0
0
0

100

200

300

t/s

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Al Nahda National Schools/ A-Level Physics Dept.

By estimating the time constant for the circuit, calculate an approximate value for R
when C = 100 F.
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Discuss the effect of increasing the resistance, R.
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Al Nahda National Schools/ A-Level Physics Dept.