Rc Time Constant

In: Science

Submitted By Emmyc93
Words 734
Pages 3
RC Time Constant

Purpose:
The purpose of this experiment is to show how a capacitor charges and discharges exponentially. It is also to determine the time constant of an RC circuit.

Equipment: 2 resistors, 2 capacitors, power amplifier, Digital multmeter, interface box, computer

Theory: A capacitor charges exponentially, that is that initially charge accumulates easily on the plates but then it becomes increasingly difficult to keep adding charge to the capacitor. This is because more work is required to add more charge when there is already charges with the same sign already there. The charge on the plates is modelled by the equation q = q0 (1-e -t/RC) = q0 (1-e -t/τ). In the experiment, instead of measuring charge, voltage is measured and then compared to charge with the equation q = CV. Since τ = RC at time t, the voltage across capacitor is a value of 1 – 1/e of V0 which is 0.63 of V0. The discharge of the capacitor is calculated with the equation of V = V0 e-t/RC = V0 e-t/τ. After a certain time, V = V0 e-1 = V0/e = 0.37 V0.

Procedure:
In the first part of the experiment, the first step is to measure the resistance of Resistors 1 and 2, as well as the resistance of the two resistors connected in parallel and in series. Then, the capacitance of capacitors 1 and 2 is measured, as well as the equivalent capacitance of them connected in series and parallel.
In the second part of the experiment, the time constant of an RC circuit is measured in Data set 1-5, and the charging and discharging process in Data set 6. In order to make the RC circuit, connect the power, interface, resistors, and capacitors as is shown in Figure 2. In steps 1-5, maximum voltage (V0) is always 4V and frequency (f) is always 5 Hz. In Data Sets 2,4, and 5, only Resistor 1 (R1) is used. In Data Set 1, the resistors are connected in parallel while in…...

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