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11.3 Capacitance


Here are experiments our science specialists have selected to support the IB* topic.


Experiment #24 from Physics with Vernier

  • Measure an experimental time constant of a resistor-capacitor circuit.
  • Compare the time constant to the value predicted from the component values of the resistance and capacitance.
  • Measure the potential across a capacitor as a function of time as it discharges and as it charges.
  • Fit an exponential function to the data. One of the fit parameters corresponds to an experimental time constant.

Capacitors and Inductors

Experiment #13 from Advanced Physics with Vernier — Beyond Mechanics

In this experiment, you will

  • Collect electric potential and current data in a DC circuit in which a capacitor or an inductor is placed in series with various resistors.
  • Analyze the potential vs. time graphs for capacitors and inductors.
  • Determine the best-fit equations for the potential vs. time graphs.
  • Determine the quantity of charge stored by a capacitor from a graph of current vs. time.
  • Relate the parameters in the best-fit equations for potential vs. time to their physical counterparts in the system.

RLC Circuits

Experiment #14 from Advanced Physics with Vernier — Beyond Mechanics

In this experiment, you will

  • Learn the terms capacitive reactance, inductive reactance, and impedance.
  • Determine the relationship between the reactance and frequency for a capacitor.
  • Determine the relationship between the impedance and frequency of an RL circuit.
  • Determine the resonant frequency of an RLC circuit.
  • Experiment with resonance and energy transfer in an RLC circuit.

Educational Standard
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Additional Higher Level (AHL)
11. Electromagnetic induction

* The IB Diploma Program is an official program of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) which authorizes schools to offer it. The material available here has been developed independently of the IBO and is not endorsed by it.