Driving question : How do capacitance and resistance values determine the time of discharging?

In this activity students use the voltage sensor to measure the potential across a capacitor as the capacitor discharges. They determine the time constant of the circuit. They investigate the effect of changing the capacitance of the capacitor and changing the resistance of the resistor on the time of discharging

Topic: Electric fields,
Concepts: Capacitance, Potential across a capacitor,
Grade level: High School (14-18 years),
Activity type: Data logging,
Sensors: Voltage sensor,
Interface requirements: Single analog sensor input,

The Student Worksheet gives investigation instructions for students.

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The Teacher Notes includes teacher commentaries such as didactical approach, exemplary questions, assignments and data analysis.

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The Science Background describes the scientific principles that underlie the activity.

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Coach Activity/Result file can be opened in the Coach 7 Program. This requires Coach 7 to be installed on your computer.

Download activity Discharging a capacitor (with CoachLab II+) (.cma7)
Download activity Discharging a capacitor (.cma7) Download result Discharging a capacitor (.cmr7)