UY1: Capacitors In Series And In Parallel

Capacitors In Series

Two capacitors are connected in series. In a series connection, the magnitude of charge on all plates is the same:

$$C_{1} V_{2} = Q = C_{2} V_{2}$$

$$\begin{aligned} V &= V_{1} + V_{2} \\ &= Q \left( \frac{1}{C_{1}} + \frac{1}{C_{2}} \right) \end{aligned}$$

The equivalent capacitance is:

$$\begin{aligned} \frac{1}{C_{eq}} &\equiv \frac{V}{Q} \\ &= \frac{1}{C_{1}} + \frac{1}{C_{2}} \end{aligned}$$


The reciprocal of the equivalent capacitance of a series combination equals the sum of the reciprocals of the individual capacitances.


Capacitors In Parallel

Two capacitors are connected in parallel. In a parallel connection, the potential difference for all individual capacitors is the same:

$$\frac{Q_{1}}{C_{1}} = V = \frac{Q_{2}}{V_{2}}$$

$$\begin{aligned} Q &= Q_{1} + Q_{2} \\ &= (C_{1} + C_{2}) V \end{aligned}$$

The equivalent capacitance:

$$\begin{aligned} C_{eq} &\equiv \frac{Q}{V} \\ &= C_{1} + C_{2} \end{aligned}$$


The equivalent capacitance of a parallel combination equals the sum of the individual capacitances.


Next: Energy Stored In Capacitors

Previous: Capacitors And Capacitance

Back To Electromagnetism (UY1)

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