Glossary Definition for Capacitor

Glossary Term: Capacitor 


A capacitor is a passive electronic component that consists of two conductive plates separated by an insulating dielectric. A voltage applied to the plates develops an electric field across the dielectric and causes the plates to accumulate a charge. When the voltage source is removed, the field and the charge remain until discharged, storing energy.

Capacitance (or C, measured in farads), dictates the amount of charge that can be stored at a given voltage (a one-farad capacitor charged to one volt will hold one Coulomb of charge).

  • capacitance

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