Create a Capacitor SimuLab

Ref. Tipler Ch. 25.1-25.6

  • HW: WA-APC-Circuits 3/18
  • HW: Capacitor SimuLab 3/26


Using the capacitor simulation at and the
AC/DC circuit construction kit at,
you and your team are to create a simulation lab for future AP-C Physics Students.  This lab
should include a purpose, detailed step-by-step procedure, data tables, and appropriate
analysis questions to help students develop an understanding of the key learning objectives for
this activity.


  • Describe qualitatively and quantitatively the patterns and variation of the electric field
    between oppositely-charged parallel plates.
  • Understand the relationship between capacitance, stored charge, voltage, stored energy,
    area, separation distance, and dielectric constant for a parallel plate capacitor.
  • Calculate the equivalent capacitance of a series or parallel combination of capacitors.
  • Determine the ratio of voltages for capacitors connected in series.
  • Calculate the voltage or stored charge, under steady-state conditions, for a capacitor
    connected to a circuit consisting of a battery and resistors.
  • Sketch or identify graphs of stored charge or voltage for the capacitor, or of current or
    voltage for the resistor, and indicate on the graph the significance of the time constant.
  • Write expressions to describe the time dependence of the stored charge or voltage for
    the capacitor, or of the current or voltage for the resistor.


1. One completed lab handout, neatly typed and organized in such a fashion that it could
be immediately handed out to other AP-C physics students for in-classroom use without
further modification.  Do not place your names on this copy, but instead attach your
names to it using a yellow sticky note.
2. A second copy of the lab handout, this copy having been filled out completely as if you
were a student working through the lab, and at such a quality level that it can be used as
an answer key.  It is to be labeled as “Teacher’s Guide.”
3. Do not staple any of your deliverables.  Paper clips will be provided upon request.