List of Learning Objects

Learning Object 

Name:   RC Circuits 1
Subject Area: Physics, Math
Version: 1.0  Date Posted: 2/27/03

General Questions



To adjust the power supply voltage, click and drag the red knob. Click the switch to charge or discharge the capacitor. The capacitor voltage will be plotted as a function of time on the graph.  Once one experimental curve has been completed click the Curve # button to obtain a new symbol for your next curve.  Up to five curves can be generated on one graph. When you have completed your experimental run click the print button to obtain a printed copy of your graph. Click the refresh button on your browser to start a new experiment.

General Questions:

Explore the behavior of this RC circuit. Write down your observations.  What statement can you make about the two resistors? Can you make a rough estimate of the values of C and R? Can you find experimental procedures where the simulation is not correct?



Plan an experimental procedure which will allow you to determine the functional relationship between the capacitor voltage (Vc) and time (t) for both charging and discharging.  Use transformation of variables or some other data analysis technique to determine all the constants in these functions.


Discussions of RC circuits can be found in most introductory physics textbooks or use the keywords below to find information about RC circuits on the web.  Use this theory and your data analysis to determine the values of R and C.

Keyword Search Results

1.  Try the following search words at www.google.com. (Be sure to include the quotation marks.)

                                                                      Pages sited by Google

"RC Circuits"                                                 6,570

"RC time constant"                                         5,200

"capacitance"                                              555,000

"RC circuits"  "differential equations"                   706

"transformation of variables" "data analysis"         327

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