A capacitor is a two-terminal, electrical component. Along with resistors and inductors, they are one of the most fundamental passive components we use. You would have to look very hard to find a circuit which didn't have a capacitor in it.
What makes capacitors special is their ability to store energy; they're like a fully charged electric battery. Caps, as we usually refer to them, have all sorts of critical applications in circuits. Common applications include local energy storage, voltage spike suppression, and complex signal filtering.
Covered in this Tutorial
In this tutorial, we'll be examining all sorts of capacitor-related topics, including:
- How a capacitor is made
- How a capacitor works
- Units of capacitance
- Types of capacitors
- How to recognize capacitors
- How capacitance combines in series and parallel
- Common capacitor applications
Some of the concepts in this tutorial build on previous electronics knowledge. Before jumping into this tutorial, consider reading (at least skimming) these first:
- What is Electricity?
- Voltage, Current, Resistance, and Ohm's Law
- What is a Circuit
- Series vs. Parallel Circuits
- How to Use A Multimeter
- Metric Prefixes