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11.3. Capacitance

Capacitors are electrical components used in almost all electronic devices around us. They are really useful for a number of reasons, including timing, smoothing and rectification. They are remarkably simple in their structure - two conductive parallel plates separated by an insulator. The main function of a capacitor is to store electrical charge, one plate being positive and one plate being negative. We are going to explore a bit into the structure of these things, as well as how they can be useful in circuits. 
Before we do, I'd like to introduce you to 'ElectroBoom', aka Mehdi Sadaghdar - a YouTuber who puts up lots of great electricity videos, most of which involve him shocking himself in various elaborate ways. Here he looks at these capacitor things.

I have divided this subsection into the following bits:

 

Capactors and Capacitance

So, how exactly do these capacitors work?

Video Lessons

Resources

IB Physics
Topic 11 Notes
IB-Physics.net
Chapter 11 Summary
IB Revision Notes
Isaac Physics
Capacitance
Mr. G
11.3 Teaching Notes
11.3 Student Notes
Physics and Maths Tutor
Fields Definitions
Fields Key Points
Fields Detailed Notes
Capacitance Flashcards
A Level Resources - content slightly different

Questions

Dielectrics

 

Video Lessons

Chris Doner
Capacitance (Dielectrics)
IB Specific
Khan Academy
Dielectrics in Capacitors

Resources

IB Physics
Topic 11 Notes
IB-Physics.net
Chapter 11 Summary
IB Revision Notes
Isaac Physics
Capacitance
Mr. G
11.3 Teaching Notes
11.3 Student Notes
Physics and Maths Tutor
Fields Definitions
Fields Key Points
Fields Detailed Notes
Capacitance Flashcards
A Level Resources - content slightly different

Questions

Cambridge University Press
Topic 11: MCQs
CUP Website Link
Freely available online
Grade Gorilla
11.3 (Capacitance) MCQs
Topic 11 (Induction) Final Quiz
Quick IB Specific Mixed MCQs
Mr. G
11.3 Formative Assessment
Topic 11 Summary Qs
IB Specific Questions
 

Combining Capacitors

Video Lessons

Resources

IB Physics
Topic 11 Notes
IB-Physics.net
Chapter 11 Summary
IB Revision Notes
Isaac Physics
Series and Parallel
Mr. G
11.3 Teaching Notes
11.3 Student Notes
Physics and Maths Tutor
Fields Definitions
Fields Key Points
Fields Detailed Notes
Capacitance Flashcards
A Level Resources - content slightly different

Questions

Cambridge University Press
Topic 11: MCQs
CUP Website Link
Freely available online
Grade Gorilla
11.3 (Capacitance) MCQs
Topic 11 (Induction) Final Quiz
Quick IB Specific Mixed MCQs
Isaac Physics
Capacitor Networks
Mr. G
11.3 Formative Assessment
Topic 11 Summary Qs
IB Specific Questions
 

Charging/ Discharging Capacitor Circuits

When releasing their charge through a circuit, capacitors follow an exponential decay.

Video Lessons

Resources

Questions

Cambridge University Press
Topic 11: MCQs
CUP Website Link
Freely available online
Grade Gorilla
11.3 (Capacitance) MCQs
Topic 11 (Induction) Final Quiz
Quick IB Specific Mixed MCQs
Isaac Physics
Discharge of a Capacitor
Mr. G
11.3 Formative Assessment
Topic 11 Summary Qs
IB Specific Questions
Physics and Maths Tutor
Charging & Discharging (AQA 2)
Charging & Discharging MS (AQA 2)
A-Level Qs: overlapping content
 

Additional Resources

IB Questions

A question by question breakdown of the IB papers by year is shown below to allow you to filter questions by topic. Hopefully you have access to many of these papers through your school system. If available, there may be some links to online sources of questions, though please be patient if the links are broken! (DrR: If you do find some broken links, please contact me through the site)

Questions on this topic (Section 11) are shown in green.

Use this grid to practice past IB questions topic by topic. You can see from the colours how similar the question topic breakdown is year by year. The more you can familiarise yourself with the IB question style the better - eventually you will come to spot those tricks and types of questions that reappear each year.