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Solutions for BB HW Chapter 24

Prepared by Prof. Omar Chmaissem


in collaboration with
Max Korzec, John Seper and Kenneth Witz
1) What charge appears on the plates of a 2.0-F capacitor when it is charged to 100 V?
A) 200 C
B) 100 C
C) 150 C
D) 50 C
E) 480C
Explanation: Use equation Q=CV to find charge.
2) The magnitude of the charge on each plate of a parallel plate capacitor is 4 C and the potential difference between the
plates is 80 V. What is the capacitance of this capacitor?
A) 0.1 10-6 F
B) 20 10-6 F
C) 100 10-6 F
D) 5 10-8 F
E) 300 10-6 F
Explanation: Straightforward, same as previous. Use equation C=Q/V to find capacitance.
3) A parallel plate capacitor with plate separation of 4.0 cm has a plate area of 4.0 10-2 m2. What is the capacitance of this
capacitor with air between these plates?
A) 8.9 10-12 F
B) 8.9 10-13 F
C) 8.9 10-15 F
D) 8.9 10-14 F
E) 8.9 10-11 F
Explanation: The equation relating Area and distance to Capacitance is C= o A/d. Using this equation, we find capacitance.
(Remember o = 8.85x10-12). Presence of air just means there is no solid dielectric
4) A parallel-plate capacitor has a voltage V = 6.0 V between its plates. Each plate carries a surface charge density = 7.0
nC/m2. What is the separation of the plates?
A) 1.2 mm
B) 5.6 mm
C) 2.5 mm
D) 8.2 mm
E) 7.6 mm
Explanation: We have: C= o A/d and Q=CV, rearrange equations to get d=o V/(charge density). Remember Q/A = (charge
density). Then solve for separation between the parallel-plate capacitor. Also charge density is given in nano Coulombs!
5) The potential difference between the plates of a parallel plate capacitor is 35 V and the electric field between the plates
has a strength of 750 V/m. If the plate area is 4.0 10-2 m2, what is the capacitance of this capacitor?
A) 7.6 10 12 F
B) 7.6 10-14 F
C) 7.6 10 11 F

D) 7.6 10-10 F
E) None of the other choices is correct.
Explanation: Given the Potential Difference and Electric Field we can find the distance between the plates of parallel
capacitors using V=Ed. Then use distance to find capacitance with C=o A/d.
6) A parallel-plate capacitor has a plate separation of 5.0 cm. If the potential difference between the plates is 2000 V, with
the top plate at the higher potential, what is the electric field between the plates?
A) 100 N/C downward
B) 4000 N/C downward
C) 40000 N/C downward
D) 40000 N/C upward
E) 100 N/C upward
Explanation: Use V=Ed. Since the top plate is at the higher potential, the electric field is pointing downward from high to low
potential.
7) A metal cylinder of radius 2.0 mm is concentric with another metal cylinder of radius 5.0 mm. If the space between the
cylinders is filled with air and the length of the cylinders is 50 cm, the capacitance of the arrangement is
A) 33 pF.
B) 30 pF.
C) 22 pF.
D) 60 pF.
E) 11 pF.
Explanation: The capacitance for a cylindrical capacitor is C=Q/V=2L o/ ln(b/a). Remember, the bigger radius is the b
value. If you were to mix up a and b you would get the same capacitance value but with a negative sign which you should
ignore. No negative capacitance values exist.
8) Two concentric conducting spheres of radii a = 5 cm and b = 10 cm have a potential difference V = 100 V between them.
What is the charge carried by each sphere?
A) 5.5 nC
B) 2.2 nC
C) 10 nC
D) 1.1 nC
E) 100 nC
Explanation: Use Q/V=4o(ab/b-a) from slides in Chapter 24 for spherical capacitor. A spherical capacitor consists of two
concentric spheres of radii a and b.
9) A system of capacitors is connected across a 90 V DC voltage source as shown in Fig. 24 8. What is the equivalent
capacitance of this system?
A) 3.3 F
B) 1.5 F
C) 15 F
D) 3.6 F
E) None of the other answers is correct.
FIGURE 24-8

Explanation: In the figure the capacitance for each capacitor is given. We have two parallel branches with each containing
two capacitors in series.
First find the equivalent capacitances for each of the two branches:
Top branch: 1/Ceq1 = 1/(2) + 1/(4) = 3/4. Ceq1 = 4/3 F.
Bottom branch: 1/Ceq2 = 1/(3) + 1/(6) = 3/6. Ceq1 = 2 F.
Now these two branches are in parallel: Just add them up. Ceq= Ceq1+Ceq2 = (4/3)+(2) = (10/3) F (or 3.3 F).
10) In Fig. 24-9, three capacitors with capacitances C 1 = 4 F, C2 = 3 F, and C3 = 2 F, are connected to a battery of
voltage V = 12 V. What is the charge on capacitor C2?
A) 8 C
B) 4 C
C) 32 C
D) 16 C
E) 2C

Solution and Explanation:


Lets first figure out the equivalent capacitance C23 which is simply C2+C3 = 3+2 = 5 C.
Now the total equivalent capacitance C123 is obtained as 1/(C123)=(1/C1)+(1/C23) = 1/4+1/5=9/20 or C123 = 20/9 C.
C123 would draw a charge q from the attached battery.
C=q/V or q = CV = (20/9)(12)=(80/3)C (or 26.67 C). Lets use the fractional value because its easier.
Now working one step backwards. This charge q is the same charge deposited on C1 or C23 (these are in series). This would
allow us to calculate the voltage drops across each:
For C1, the voltage drop would be V1 = q/C1= [(80/3)C/4F] = 20/3 V.
Across C23, the voltage drop V23 is q/C23 = [(80/3)C/5F] = 80/15 V.
You can check that this works. Adding V1 and V23 should give you the batterys voltage V which is true.

Now the voltage V23 across C23 is the same voltage across C2 or C3 (working one more step backwards). The charge q on C23
would obviously be split on the parallel capacitors C2 and C3, or q = q2+q3 (but this is irrelevant to this question).
Calculating the charges on C2 and C3 is achieved by the equations q2 = C2V23 =3F(80/15)= (80/5)C or and q3 =C3V23 =
(2F)(80/15) = 160/15=10.67C
q2= 16 C
11) Fig. 24-10 shows three capacitors connected to a battery of voltage V = 6 V. The charges on the capacitors are known
to be Q = 24 C for C1 and C2, and Q3 = 96 C for C3. What are the values of the capacitances C1, C2, and C3?
FIGURE 24-10

A) C1 = 8 F, C2 = 16 F, C3 = 24 F
B) C1 = 5 F, C2 = 14 F, C3 = 18 F
C) C1 = 21 F, C2 = 7 F, C3 = 3 F
D) C1 = 6 F, C2 = 12 F, C3 = 16 F
E) C1 = 10 F, C2 = 20 F, C3 = 30 F
Solution and explanation:
Since C12 and C3 are in are parallel the will have the same potential. C3 is a single capacitor so it can be solved using
96 C
24 C
= 16 F
= 4 F
6V
6V
Notice that the total charge extracted from the battery is Q = Q12 +Q3 = 24 C+96 C=120 C.
C12 is made up of C1 and C2 in series and knowing V1 + V2 = 6V so,

or

4 F same as above.

We have two unknowns C1 and C2. We need another equation.


Unfortunately, theres no other information that I can think of right now (terrible headache) that would give me another
independent equation. Using trial and error approach and noticing that theres only one answer in the multiple choice with C3
= 16 F. We try C1 = 6 F ad check that we get the right value for C2. I definitely dont like this type of trial and error
questions.

now, plugging in C1= 6uF we get (

( )

C2 = 12uF

This matches the given options from the answers, so C1= 6 F, C2 = 12 F, C3 = 16 F

12) A 12 mF capacitor is connected in series with a 4 mF capacitor, the combination being connected across a 6 V power
supply. The charge on the 12 mF capacitor is
A) 12 mC.

B) 36 mC.
C) 72 mC.
D) 18 mC.
E) 24 mC.
First we find the equivalent capacitance of the whole circuit using capacitance equation for a series.
(

)
(

so,

or

next find charge total using Q=CV,

)(

Since the circuit is in a series and we know that series circuits always have the same charge, the charge on the 12mF capacitor
= 18 mC

13) A 5.0 F and a 7.0 F capacitor are connected in series across an 8.0 V DC source. What is the voltage across the 5.0 F
capacitor?
A) 3.6 V
B) 0 V
C) 4.7 V
D) 8.0 V
E) 2.7 V
First we find the equivalent capacitance of the whole circuit using capacitance equation for a series.
(

)
(

so,

or

next find charge total using Q=CV,

)(

in a series circuit, the charge is the same but the voltage drop across each capacitor is different and is calculated using the
equation
so

so,

14) A 2.0 F and a 4.0 F capacitor are connected in series across an 8.0 V DC source. What is the charge on the 2.0 F
capacitor?
A) 4.0 C
B) 11 C
C) 2.0 C
D) 25 C
E) 12 C
Following the same process as in problem 12:
(
so,

)
(

Next find charge total using Q=CV,

)(

charge is same through series circuit so charge on the 2.0 F capacitor is

15) A 20 F capacitor has a charge of 60 C. How much energy is stored in this capacitor?
A) 70 J
B) 110 J
C) 90 J
D) 100 J
E) 80 J

A charged capacitor stores an amount of electric energy given by:

(text pg. 643)

since we are given Capacitance C and Charge Q we use


( )

16) A 6.00 F parallel plate capacitor has a charge of +40.0 C and -40.0 C on each plate, respectively. The potential
energy stored in this capacitor is:
A) 113 J
B) 123 J
C) 133 J
D) 103 J
E) 143 J
Using the same approach as problem 15 and knowing the charge on each plate Q = 40 C
( )

17) A 4 F capacitor has a potential drop of 20 V between its plates. The electric potential energy stored in this capacitor
is:
A) 8000 J
B) 80 J
C) 8 J
D) 800 J
E) 0.8 J
From

and given potential V and capacitance C we use


(

)(

18) A charge of 2.00 C flows onto the plates of a capacitor when it is connected to a 12.0 V battery.
How much work was done in charging this capacitor?
A) 24.0 J
B) 6.00 J
C) 12.0 J

D) 576 J
E) 144 J
Knowing the energy stored in a capacitor will be equal to the work done to charge it.
The work done to charge the capacitor will also use the equations:

(text pg.636)

and given capacitance C and potential V we use,


(

)(

19) A cylindrical capacitor is made of two concentric cylinders. The inner cylinder has radius r1 = 4 mm, and the outer one
a radius r2 = 8 mm. The common length of the cylinders is L = 150 m. What is the potential energy stored in this capacitor
when a potential difference V = 4 V is applied between the inner and outer cylinder?
A) 6.3 10-8 J
B) 4.6 10-8 J
C) 1.3 10-8 J
D) 9.6 10-8 J
E) 0.34 10-8 J

Trying to solve for potential energy or U, we again look at the equations:


the only given is potential = 4V, but knowing that we can solve for
cylindrical capacitance (text pg. 631) using
(

where Ra = outer diameter and Rb = inner diameter. So,

now, knowing C and V we use

( )

)( )

20) A parallel-plate capacitor stores a charge Q = 4.00 nC when connected to a battery of voltage V =
10.0 V. The energy density is then u = 3.62 10-4 J/m3. What is the surface area of the plates?
A) 0.0387 m2
B) 0.0103 m2
C) 0.0250 m2
D) 0.0923 m2
E) 0.0500 m2
First, we can calculate C = Q/V = 0.4nF.
Now we know that C= o A/d. The only unknowns are A and d. I am looking for A so first I need to solve for d.
We know that the energy density

. We also know that V = Ed.

Solve for E using the energy density equation then plug the result in V = Ed to calculate the separation distance d.
Solve for A using C= o A/d
21) A parallel-plate capacitor is filled with a dielectric with = 4. The plate area is 3 m2 and the plate separation is 2 mm.
The capacitance of this capacitor is
A) 18 nF.
B) 53 nF.

C) 13 nF.
D) 210 nF.
E) 8 nF.
C = Co. Co= o A/d which is straightforward . C= o A/d
22) A parallel-plate capacitor has a capacitance of 10 mF and is charged with a 20 V power supply. The power supply is
then removed and a dielectric of dielectric constant 4 is used to fill the space between the plates. The voltage now across
the capacitor is
A) zero.
B) 80 V.
C) 10 V.
D) 20 V.
E) 5 V.
This is an isolated capacitor. The charge cannot change when capacitor is isolated C=Q/V (Q is constant but V and C
can change if you change the capacitor in a physical way). Inserting a dielectric block is equivalent to changing one of
the physical characteristics of the capacitor. C must increase by a factor of . This is achieved by dropping the voltage
by a factor .
Turn to page 639 and look at example (24-15). They show two scenarios of a dielectric being inserted. One with the
voltage held constant, and one with the charge held constant.
Use V= Vo/. Hopefully you dont need a calculator for this one the new potential difference V =20/4 = 5V
23) A 6.0 F air capacitor is connected across a 100 V battery. After the battery fully charges the capacitor, the capacitor is
immersed in transformer oil (dielectric constant = 4.5). How much additional charge flows from the battery, which
remained connected during the process?
A) 1.2 mC
B) 1.5 mC
C) 2.1 mC
D) 2.5 mC
E) 1.7 mC
Pay attention to the question being asked in this one. It asks for additional charge not new charge.
You have to calculate the new charge and take the difference between the new charge and the last one. First calculate
the initial charge.
Qo = CV so (6.0F)(100V) = 600 C
Use example (24-15) (a) with the voltage being held constant (battery is still connected so new charges can flow in and
out of the capacitor). Q = Qo = (4.5)( 600 C) = 2700 C. This is larger than the original charge value as expected.
Now subtract the initial charge of 600 C from the new charge of 2700 C to find the difference of 2100 C or 2.1mC
24) A parallel-plate capacitor has a capacitance of 10 mF and charged with a 20 V power supply. The power supply is
then removed and a dielectric of dielectric constant 4 is used to fill the space between the plates. The energy now stored
by the capacitor is
A) 125 mJ.
B) 500 mJ.
C) zero.
D) 62.5 mJ.
E) 250 mJ.

Use equation (24-5) on page 636 to find the initial energy stored. Calculating initial energy stored using U=1/2 CV2 you
get 2J (U = 10 mF (20V)2 = 2000 mJ = 2 J).
In this problem, the charge Q =CV will REMAIN CONSTANT because the capacitor has been isolated from the power
supply. C and V will change because the dielectric block will change the capacitor in a physical way. Thus,
Capacitance and voltage both change but the product of CV =Q remains constant. We know that the capacitance and
charge will increase by a factor of while the voltage will decrease by the same factor . Energy equations U = CV2 =
QV = Q2/C No matter what equation you use, the initial energy will decrease by a factor of . (please check each
one). The new energy stored is 2000 mJ/4 = 500 mJ.
Please pay attention to the fact that some problems ask you for how much energy was added or lost after some
process. In this case you would have to subtract the original value from the final value to find the difference.