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CourseNotes.21 - We can see how this would extend naturally...

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We can see how this would extend naturally to many capacitors in parallel. Hence, the general rule for n capacitors in parallel is that we can treat them as an equivalent single capacitor of capacitance C eq = n X i =1 C i (18) What about capacitors in series? When the three capacitors are wired in series, they have equal charge on all three capacitors. Also, the sum of the potential differences across all three capacitors must equal the potential difference of the battery. We can see why the capacitors must have equal charge by considering the circuit before and after attaching the battery. Before the battery is attached, the wires attaching each capacitor is electrically neutral (i.e. no charge built up on either plate). When we hook up the battery, charge will be drawn to one of the capacitor plates which will leave the other capacitor plate with a deficit of charge equal and opposite to that on the first capacitor. We can now figure out the equivalent capacitance of the system by writing down the potential across all three capacitors individually.
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