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Q & A: Capacitors and charge

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Most recent answer: 04/30/2020
Q:
Is it necessary that capacitor is only form when charges on inner surface of capacitor are equal and opposite in nature?
- Akash (age 19)
Aligarh, uttar pradesh, India
A:

IIn an electric circuit, conservation of charge requires that the entire circuit remain electrically neutral (if it started out that way).  The capacitor plates are the only places where charge can collect, so the charges on the two plates must cancel.  

In a circuit with more than one capacitor, one must consider the possibility that one capacitor has a net positive charge, and the other negative.  In that case, the total stored energy is minimized when the capacitors exchange charge to make them both neutral.

 


(published on 04/30/2020)

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