5C10.10 - Demo Capacitors

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Demo Capacitors
Dependence of Distance & Surface Area For Variable Capacitors
Area of Study:
Electricity & Magnetism
Gang capacitors assorted, Demo capacitors assorted, Capacitor material.

These capacitors are mainly for demonstration so no advanced preparation is required.

The capacitor material may be passed around the classroom.

  • Rhett Herman, "Simple Ways to Make Real Capacitors", TPT, Vol. 52, #8, Nov. 2014, p. 482.
  • Brian Lamore, "What a Broken Radio Can Teach Us About Capacitors", TPT, Vol. 46, #9, Dec. 2008, p. 554.
  • Biswajit Ray, "When Is a Capacitor NOT a Capacitor?", TPT, Vol. 44, #2, Feb. 2006, p. 106.
  • A. John Mallinckrodt, "Time Scale", TPT, Vol. 31, #6, Sept. 1993, p. 325.
  • Raymond P. Mayer and John R. Jeffries, "Capacitor - Hydraulic Analogy", TPT, Vol. 31, #5, May 1993, p. 260.
  • A. P. French, "Are the Textbook Writers Wrong About Capacitors?", TPT, Vol. 31, #3, Mar. 1993, p. 136.
  • R. G. Newburgh, "Capacitors, Water Bottles, and Kirchhoff's Loop Rule", TPT, Vol. 31, #1, Jan. 1993, p. 16.
  • Robert A. Morse and Diego Enciso, "The Flexible Capacitor: An Electrostatic Demonstration Using Batteries", TPT, Vol. 30, #1, Jan. 1992, p. 22.
  • Borislaw Bilash II and David Maiullo, "Dissect a Capacitor", A Demo a Day: A Year of Physics Demonstrations, p. 260.
  • Borislaw Bilash II and David Maiullo, "Air Capacitor", A Demo a Day: A Year of Physics Demonstrations, p. 254.
  • Borislaw Bilash II and David Maiullo, "Storing the Charge", A Demo a Day: A Year of Physics Demonstrations, p. 249.
  • Chris Emery, Edited by Karl Mamola, "Printed Circuit Board Capacitors", Apparatus for Teaching Physics, p. 162.
  • Forrest M. Mims III, "Super Capacitor", Science and Communication Circuits & Projects, p. 17.

Disclaimer: These demonstrations are provided only for illustrative use by persons affiliated with The University of Iowa and only under the direction of a trained instructor or physicist.  The University of Iowa is not responsible for demonstrations performed by those using their own equipment or who choose to use this reference material for their own purpose.  The demonstrations included here are within the public domain and can be found in materials contained in libraries, bookstores, and through electronic sources.  Performing all or any portion of any of these demonstrations, with or without revisions not depicted here entails inherent risks.  These risks include, without limitation, bodily injury (and possibly death), including risks to health that may be temporary or permanent and that may exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition; and property loss or damage.  Anyone performing any part of these demonstrations, even with revisions, knowingly and voluntarily assumes all risks associated with them.