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ERIC Number: EJ1045731
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Simple Ways to Make Real Capacitors
Herman, Rhett
Physics Teacher, v52 n8 p482-484 Nov 2014
Many of us have grabbed two pieces of aluminum foil and a paper towel, quickly sandwiched them together, and exclaimed in lecture, "Look! It's easy to make a capacitor!" Then we move on from there, calculating things such as capacitances with various dielectrics or plate sizes, the capacitance of capacitor networks, RC circuits, etc. We typically do these calculations with capacitance values that are far removed from what we just created in our quick demonstration of a capacitor. Students might justifiably question whether the capacitor that we blithely made has any relation to the values that we are using in our calculations. It may be useful to investigate the quality of such handmade capacitors so that our students get a more intuitive feel for these ubiquitous electrical components.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A