Capacitor RC time constant

Using a steady voltage to charge a capacitor through a resistance, and also discharging a capacitor through a resistance, involves the RC time constant.

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Electronics RC time constant curve diagram by Electronzap Electronzapdotcom
Electronics RC time constant curve diagram by Electronzap Electronzapdotcom

Basic RC time constant properties

  • One time constant ( τ / Greek letter tau) is the capacitance of the capacitor in Farads, times the resistance in ohms.  τ = RC
  • It takes 5 time constants to go from fully discharged to fully charged (about 99.99%).Also 5 time constants to go from fully charged to fully discharged.
  • Voltage changes very rapidly during the first time constant about 2/3 or 66% of the voltage change. and each following time constant has a much lower voltage change then the previous one. Each time constant changes about 2/3 or 66% of the remaining voltage.

RC time constant curve diagram

Capacitor RC time constant and constant current curve diagrams by Electronzap Electronzapdotcom
Capacitor RC time constant and constant current curve diagrams by Electronzap Electronzapdotcom
Schematic diagrams used in video
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
Video

Electronics course 5 capacitor component RC time constant circuit fragment tutorial

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