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# Investigate how the charge on a capacitor is related to the potential difference applied across it by charging the capacitor at a constant rate.

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Introduction

Charging a capacitor at a constant rate

Objective:

~ To investigate how the charge on a capacitor is related to the potential difference applied across it by charging the capacitor at a constant rate.

Apparatus:

~ Capacitor (electrolytic type) 500  F

~ Microammeter 100  A

~ Potentiometer 100k  ~ Clip component holder

~ Stop-watch

~ CRO

Description of design:

Theory:

From definition, the capacitance C of a capacitor is found from  , where Q is the charge

Middle =I, where I is a constant. Then  =  is also a constant. Hence, the potential difference across the capacitor increases linearly with time.

Data Analysis:

The result of this experiment is shown as below:

 p.d. across capacitor V 1V 2V 3V 4V 5V 1st attempt Time t 5.92s 11.73s 17.67s 23.67s 29.42s 2ndattempt

Conclusion

Error analysis:

~ There will be systematic errors like there are zero errors of the microammeter so that we cannot keep the current in a steady condition.

~Also, there will be random errors which produce unpredictable deviations from the true value. For instance, there are human reaction time, random parallax error and imperfect material used.

Possible improvements of the experiment:

~ Since the systematic error cannot be reduced or eliminated by taking the average of repeated readings, so, we should tackle the problems by techniques such as calibration curves and control experiment.

~ Moreover, random error cannot be eliminated but could be reduced by taking the average of repeated reading.

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