A capacitor is an electronic component that stores electrical energy in an electric field. It consists of two conductive plates separated by an insulating material called a dielectric. The plates can be made of metal, and the dielectric can be made of materials like ceramic, electrolytic fluid, or plastic.
When a voltage is applied across the capacitor, it creates an electric field between the plates. Positive charges accumulate on one plate, and negative charges on the other. This separation of charges creates a potential difference, or voltage, across the capacitor. The ability of a capacitor to store electrical charge is known as capacitance, and it is measured in farads (F).
Capacitors have various applications in electronic circuits, such as smoothing voltage fluctuations, filtering signals, and storing energy in some cases. They are commonly used in power supplies, audio circuits, radio frequency circuits, and timing circuits. Capacitors come in different types, including ceramic, electrolytic, tantalum, and polyester capacitors, each with its own characteristics and suitable applications.
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