# College Physics II Capacitors – PhET Lab EPCC Capacitors Objective: This lab will demonstrate the basic physical properties of capacitors through a PhET simulation. Note: Measurements must be in MKS...

College Physics II Capacitors – PhET Lab EPCC
Capacitors
Objective: This lab will demonstrate the basic physical properties of capacitors through a PhET
simulation.
Note: Measurements must be in MKS units.
Access the PhET lab through this link:
https:
Plate Separation: Select the capacitance simulation (see figure 1). Adjust the simulation settings
according to figure 2. Complete the circuit (figure 3), and set the battery to maximum voltage
elease (figure 4). Record the capacitance, top plate charge, and stored energy in table 1. Next
increase the plate separation by 1.0 mm while holding the plate area constant; record your
findings in table 1. Repeat the process by incrementing the plate separation distance by 1.0 mm
till you reach 8.0 mm of plate separation. Record your findings in table 1 for each increment.
P late Area : Return to your original settings by hitting the reset button (refer to figure 2), or by
manually setting the simulation according to that stated in figure 2. Setting the battery to
maximum voltage release, record the capacitance, top plate charge, and stored energy in table
2. Keeping the plate separation distance constant at 6.0 mm, increment the plate area by 100
mm2 till you reach 300 mm2. Record your findings in table 2 at each increment.
Figure 1: Simulation options: Capacitance (left) and
light-bulb (right) simulations. Figure 2: Capacitance simulation: Initial settings for the lab. To reset the simulation, click on the reset button (bottom right
orange button).
Select all
settings options
Plate separation: 6.0 mm
Plate area: 200 mm2
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College Physics II Capacitors – PhET Lab EPCC

Table 1. Simulation with constant plate area of 200 mm2
Plate distance (mm) Capacitance (F) Top plate charge ( C ) Stored Energy (J)
Table 2. Simulation with constant plate distance at 6 mm
Plate area (mm2) Capacitance (F) Top plate charge ( C ) Stored Energy (J)
Measuring Voltage:
Place the voltmeter close to
the capacitor, and connect the
and the black lead wire below
the capacitor (see figure 5).
Record the voltage of the
attery and across the
capacitor in table 3.
Figure 4: Maximize
attery to 1.5 Volts.
Figure 3: Circuit open (a); circuit closed (b).
(a) (b)
Figure 5: Measuring voltage: Place the red wire above the top plate, the
other below the bottom plate.
College Physics II Capacitors – PhET Lab EPCC
Table 3. Voltages
Voltage across battery Voltage across capacitor
Questions (Answer concisely within 3 sentences):
1. What pattern did you notice when you increased the distance between the plates? Based
on what physical characteristic/principle is this possible?
2. What pattern did you notice when you increased the area? Based on what physical
characteristic/principle is this possible?
3. How and why does the electric field change?
4. Why are the voltages across the battery and capacitor the same?

## Solution

Himanshu answered on Jul 20 2021
Table 1. Simulation with constant plate area of 200 mm2
Plate distance (mm)
Capacitance (F)
Stored Energy (J)
6
0.30pF
0.44pC
0.33pJ
7
0.25pF
0.38pC
0.28pJ
8
0.22pF
0.33pC
0.25pJ
Table 2. Simulation with constant plate distance at 6 mm
Plate area (mm2)
Capacitance (F)
Top plate charge (C)
Stored Energy...
SOLUTION.PDF