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educational validator: John Belcher
technical implementer: Andrew McKinney
published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
This Java simulation depicts the interaction of charged particles inside the two plates of a capacitor, a device for storing electric charge. Students may place up to 12 charges in each capacitor plate and set the magnitude of particle charge. The simulation starts with a view of the charges distributing themselves around the outer edge of the plates. The resulting electric field can then be viewed as electric potential lines or in a "grass seeds" field pattern.  

For lecture notes that accompany this specific animation, click below:
MIT Open Courseware: Capacitance and Dielectrics Lecture Notes (pdf)

Please note that this resource requires Java Applet Plug-in.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Electricity & Magnetism
- Capacitance
= Capacitors
- Electric Fields and Potential
= Electrostatic Potential and Potential Energy
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Interactive Simulation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
Learner
Educator
Formats:
application/java
text/html
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
MIT Open Courseware (OCW): http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/terms/terms/index.htm
Keywords:
Coulomb, Coulomb force, Pauli force, electric field, electric potential, interactive simulations, parallel plate capacitor, point charges, representations, visualization
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created April 14, 2010 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
November 25, 2011 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
May 2, 2008
Other Collections:

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.


Topic: "Static" Electricity
Unit Title: Capacitors and their Effect on Electricity

This is one of the best simulations we've seen to illustrate what happens at the particle level inside the two plates of a parallel capacitor. Students can set the number and magnitude of charges within each capacitor, then watch the charges distribute themselves along the outer edges of their enclosures. A great visualization of the Coulomb force in action.

Link to Unit:
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Record Link
AIP Format
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 2004), WWW Document, (http://web.mit.edu/8.02t/www/802TEAL3D/visualizations/electrostatics/capacitor/capacitor.htm).
AJP/PRST-PER
MIT Physics 8.02: Electrostatics - The Capacitor, (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 2004), <http://web.mit.edu/8.02t/www/802TEAL3D/visualizations/electrostatics/capacitor/capacitor.htm>.
APA Format
MIT Physics 8.02: Electrostatics - The Capacitor. (2008, May 2). Retrieved October 23, 2014, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology: http://web.mit.edu/8.02t/www/802TEAL3D/visualizations/electrostatics/capacitor/capacitor.htm
Chicago Format
National Science Foundation. MIT Physics 8.02: Electrostatics - The Capacitor. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, May 2, 2008. http://web.mit.edu/8.02t/www/802TEAL3D/visualizations/electrostatics/capacitor/capacitor.htm (accessed 23 October 2014).
MLA Format
MIT Physics 8.02: Electrostatics - The Capacitor. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2004. 2 May 2008. National Science Foundation. 23 Oct. 2014 <http://web.mit.edu/8.02t/www/802TEAL3D/visualizations/electrostatics/capacitor/capacitor.htm>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {MIT Physics 8.02: Electrostatics - The Capacitor}, Publisher = {Massachusetts Institute of Technology}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {23 October 2014}, Month = {May 2, 2008}, Year = {2004} }
Refer Export Format

%T MIT Physics 8.02: Electrostatics - The Capacitor
%D May 2, 2008
%I Massachusetts Institute of Technology
%C Cambridge
%U http://web.mit.edu/8.02t/www/802TEAL3D/visualizations/electrostatics/capacitor/capacitor.htm
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D May 2, 2008
%T MIT Physics 8.02: Electrostatics - The Capacitor
%I Massachusetts Institute of Technology
%V 2014
%N 23 October 2014
%8 May 2, 2008
%9 application/java
%U http://web.mit.edu/8.02t/www/802TEAL3D/visualizations/electrostatics/capacitor/capacitor.htm


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