lab report 4 - 11/16/09 Lab report #4 (4.7) CHARGING A...

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11/16/09 Lab report #4 (4.7) CHARGING A CAPACITOR
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Abstract Our goal is to figure out how long it will take a capacitor to recharge as a function of the total resistance of the recharging circuit. We know that one way to quantify this time is to measure how long it takes for the charging current to fall to one half of its initial value. We decide to model this situation using a circuit consisting of a battery, a capacitor (initially uncharged), and a resistor, all in series. Predictions In a capacitor, the current is defined as: 0 * t RC I I e - = Where RC is the time constant of the system; R is the resistance of the resistor and C is the Capacitance of the capacitor in the circuit. I we want to find the time it takes the current to reach half of its initial value we set I= 0 I /2 0 0 * 2 t RC I I e - = We divide the above equation by 0 I : 1 2 t RC e - = Now we apply a natural log on both sides of the equation : 1 ln ln 2 t RC e - = 1 ln 2 t RC = - And we get: 1 ln 2 t RC = - for the time it takes the current to reach half of its initial value. Since with the digital multimeter we can only measure the value of potential difference across the resistors we will have to use the value of half the initial potential difference as
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This note was uploaded on 01/11/2011 for the course PHYS 1302 taught by Professor Mueller during the Fall '09 term at Carnegie Mellon.

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lab report 4 - 11/16/09 Lab report #4 (4.7) CHARGING A...

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