Document Type



Rappahannock Community College

Publication Date

Spring 2017


A capacitor is a device designed to store and release charge quickly. In basic design a capacitor is two aluminum plates with an insulator in between to keep the positive and negative charges apart, allowing one to store a charge through the basic attraction of opposite charges and not have the charge dissipate. By alternating the insulator or as it is known in this system, the dielectric, one may increase the capacitance of the capacitor, therefore increasing the amount of charge the capacitor may hold. Capacitors are used in all kinds of devices that need electricity quickly, such as an amplifier which has large capacitors to hit large base notes. This experiment is testing alternative dielectrics that could be used to build capacitors with a higher capacitance. By loading different dielectrics into a testing capacitor, the dielectric constant may be found and therefore determining how effective the dielectric would be in capacitors.


Carl Wayne Hayden won the 2nd place Spring 2017 Student Research Paper Award from the Rappahannock Community College Library for this paper.



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