005: RC time constant using capacitor and resistor

RC time constant refers to the voltage curve from charging or discharging a capacitor through a resistor.

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  • Capacitors change voltage based on how much current is flowing in or out of them.
  • A higher voltage difference across a resistor means more current passes through it.
  • Charging/discharging a capacitor through a resistor means that the voltage will change rapidly at first and very slowly when it is close to the final voltage.
  • One time constant can be calculated by multiplying the capacitor’s capacitance in Farads by the resistors resistance in Ohms. Remember to convert, millifarads (mF), microfarads (µF), nanofards (nF), picofarads (pF), to farads before making the calculation
  • One time constant is how long it takes to change/discharge approx. 2/3 of the remaining voltage difference.

Wide range of values. I mostly use this kit. I use a few values that I got from other kits. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The video below includes oscilloscope measurements taken while charging and discharging a capacitor through a resistor.

Next page (circuit fragment 6) will cover the current source charging/discharging a capacitor of this diagram. A list of pages is at the bottom of each page of this website.

Basic electronics circuit fragments and simple circuits 4 capacitors changing voltage based on capacitance and current diagram by electronzap electronzapdotcom
Basic electronics circuit fragments and simple circuits 4 capacitors changing voltage based on capacitance and current diagram by electronzap electronzapdotcom

YouTube video covering this topic.

Using the link opens the video in a new tab!

Electronics course 5 capacitor component RC time constant circuit fragment tutorial

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As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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