Laboratory #13: RC-Circuit
Purpose and Introduction

Electrical circuits are used throughout everyday life. In the RC-Circuit experiment, the
student views the charge and voltage of resistors and capacitors. The student will need the
following supplies: power supply, stopwatch, banana plug wires, resistor, computer for data
analysis, alligator clips, and a capacitor.
The charging capacitor experiences a charge erect over time while connected to the
capacitor. The voltage that comes through the capacitor also rises with the capacitor, being that
voltage is relative to charge [1]. The time constant is the time needed for the charge of the
capacitor to reach at least 63% [1]. To show this in an equation: t=1s.
Capacitors are not constant in the rate which they charge or discharge [1]. However if the
amount of charge along the capacitor is higher it will determine how much time is taken for it to
charge and discharge. Ideally the charging behavior equation will resemble the following:
Q
(
t
)=
CV
❑
0
(
1
−
e
❑
−
t
/
RC
)
(1)
The Q and T involved in the above equation represents the charge happening to the
capacitor and time. The C is the capacitance when conjoined with resistance, while V voltage
from the power source. Voltage correlates to the charge of a capacitor so (V=Q/C).
The following equation is an expression for the voltage that is distributed along the
capacitor in relation to time:
V
(
t
)=
V
0
e
❑
−
t
/
RC
(2)
Experimental Details
To determine the resistance of the resistor provided for the experiment, a multimeter was
used and the color code was recorded. The figure below depicts the set up for this experiment.