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Electronics All-in-One For Dummies, UK Edition by Doug Lowe, Dickon Ross

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Chapter 3

Working with Capacitors

In This Chapter

arrow Mining the mysteries of capacitors

arrow Measuring capacitors

arrow Calculating important capacitor numbers

arrow Building some basic capacitor circuits

In the film Back to the Future, Doc Brown’s famous flux capacitor can convert 1.21 gigawatts of power into a distortion in the space-time continuum, which allows him to send his friend Marty McFly back to 1955 and change the course of history.

The flux capacitor is science fiction. But capacitors are real and they did change the course of history, because you find them in almost every electronic circuit, including those that you build.

What Is a Capacitor?

To begin understanding what a capacitor is, consider this question: what makes current flow within a conductor? In Book I, Chapter 2, we explain that opposite charges attract one another and like charges repel one another. The attraction or repulsion is caused by a force known as the electromagnetic force. All charged particles exhibit an electric field that’s associated with this force. This field is what draws electrons (negative charges) towards ...

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