When a capacitor is charging or discharging through a resistor, the voltage changes rapidly at first slows down over time. We will just look at the charging curve on this page.
Video below shows how to build this circuit on a breadboard.
- Time constant is usually indicated by it’s initials (TC) or the Greek letter tau ( τ ).
- RC time constant is determined by the capacitance of the capacitor in farads times the resistance in ohms. τ = RC
- First time constant changes the starting voltage to about 63% of the final voltage. Each time constant after that changes about 63% of the remaining voltage. After 5 time constants, the voltage is almost completely changed and therefore the capacitor is considered fully charged or discharged after 5 time constants.
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