# Investigating the effect of resistance on a capacitor circuit.

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Introduction

Investigating the effect of resistance on a capacitor circuit

Method: We will set up the following circuit. We will measure the capacitor pd. (Vc) with the cell connected.

Then we will remove the cell and connect point A to point B, at the same moment starting a stopwatch. We will record the length of time (t) for the Vc

Middle

153

330

320

680

584

Conclusion:

From the graph we can clearly see that the time taken for the capacitor to discharge is directly proportional to the resistance. This is because the graph shows a definite straight line going through or near most of the points. This means that the higher resistor you use the longer it will take for the capacitor to discharge. The experiment has therefore proved the prediction correct i.e. the resistance should be directly proportionate to the time taken for the capacitor to de-charge. This can be explained by the following: Capacitors store electrical charge. When current is passing through the circuit the capacitor charges up as the current can't jump between the gap of the two

Conclusion

There was only one result, which did no fit in with the main pattern, it was the value at 680kΩ. This may be due to many reasons. Firstly because the resistor value is so high even at a 2% error margin the resistor could be up to 13.6kΩ different from the supposed value. Also the time lapse between connecting A to B and starting the stopwatch may have accounted for the discrepancy.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Electrical & Thermal Physics section.

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