Brief capacitor discharge RC time constant circuit

Discharging a capacitor through a resistor provides a voltage curve that drops extremely fast at first and then changes very slowly towards the end of the discharge.

Brief circuit schematics with short video – List of pages
Subscribe! https://www.youtube.com/electronzap and check out my latest youtube playlist at Short learning basic electronic circuit tutorials for beginners
Become a Patron! Donations help a lot!
https://www.amazon.com/shop/electronzapdotcom As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Diagram

Video below shows how I build this circuit on a breadboard.

Simple discharging capacitor RC time constant circuit schematic diagram by electronzap electronzapdotcom
Simple discharging capacitor RC time constant circuit schematic diagram by electronzap electronzapdotcom



Screwdriver set that I use in my videos.

  • 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 from 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 usually declared as being fully charged or discharged after 5 time constants.

Video

Quick discharging capacitor RC time constant circuit schematic to breadboard build and oscilloscope

Updated video and diagram:

Capacitor RC time constant curve schematic diagram by electronzap
Capacitor RC time constant curve schematic diagram by electronzap



White version of the oscilloscope that I use in many of my recent videos.

A 1,000µF (same as 0.001F) capacitor and 1000Ω resistor have a time constant of 1 second. Therefore it will take about 5 seconds to go from 5 volts to approx. 0V.

Discharging capacitor component RC time constant curve oscilloscope measured

Next topics:

Previous topics:

Make sure to subscribe and ring the bell! from r/ElectronicsStudy


Home page