Vernier Software & Technology

# Charging Up, Charging Down - Charging a Capacitor

## Introduction

A capacitor is an electronic component used to store electrical energy. Many of the devices you use on a daily basis, such as your calculator, rely on capacitors as part of their electronic circuitry. Cameras use capacitors, too. Before using an electronic flash, energy is transferred from the camera battery to a capacitor. That energy quickly dissipates in the flash unit when you press the shutter release. The result is a bright flash!

In this activity, you will collect voltage data from a discharging capacitor using a Voltage Probe. The capacitor will be connected to another circuit element called a resistor, which controls the rate at which the capacitor discharges. You will then compare the exponential model to the data you collect.

## Objectives

• Record potential versus time data for a discharging capacitor.
• Model potential data using an exponential function.

## Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

## Real-World Math Made Easy

See other experiments from the lab book.

 1 Walk the Line - Straight Line Distance Graphs 2 Making Cents of Math: Linear Relationship between Weight and Quantity 3 Pool Plunge - Linear Relationship between Water Depth and Pressure 4 Funnel Volumes - Volume and Weight 5 Keep It Bottled Up - Rates of Pressure Increase 6 Graph It in Pieces: Piecewise Defined Functions 7 Mix It Up - Mixing Liquids of Different Temperatures 8 Spring Thing - Newton's Second Law 9 Stretch It to the Limit - The Linear Force Relation for a Rubber Band 10 What Goes Up - Position and Time for a Cart on a Ramp 11 That's the Way the Ball Bounces - Height and Time for a Bouncing Ball 12 Walk This Way - Definition of Rate 13 Velocity Test - Interpreting Graphs 14 From Here to There - Applications of the Distance Formula 15 Under Pressure - The Inverse Relationship between Pressure and Volume 16 Light at A Distance - Distance and Intensity 17 Chill Out: How Hot Objects Cool 18 Charging Up, Charging Down - Charging a Capacitor 19 Bounce Back - The Pattern of Rebound Heights 20 Sour Chemistry - The Exponential pH Change 21 Stepping to the Greatest Integer: The Greatest Integer Function 22 Swinging Ellipses - Plotting an Ellipse 23 Crawling Around: Parametric Plots 24 Lights Out! - Periodic Phenomena 25 Tic, Toc: Pendulum Motion 26 Stay Tuned: Sound Waveform Models 27 Up And Down: Damped Harmonic Motion 28 How Tall? Describing Data with Statistical Plots 29 And Now, the Weather - Describing Data with Statistics 30 Meet You at the Intersection: Solving a System of Linear Equations 31 Titration Curves: An Application of the Logistic Function

### Experiment 18 from Real-World Math Made Easy Lab Book

#### Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.