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Photograph of an automated external defibrillator.
Automated external defibrillators are found in many public places. These portable units provide verbal instructions for use in the important first few minutes for a person suffering a cardiac attack.

Capacitance of a heart defibrillator

A heart defibrillator delivers 4.00 × 10 2 J of energy by discharging a capacitor initially at 1.00 × 10 4 V . What is its capacitance?


We are given U C and V , and we are asked to find the capacitance C . We solve [link] for C and substitute.


Solving this expression for C and entering the given values yields C = 2 U C V 2 = 2 4.00 × 10 2 J ( 1.00 × 10 4 V ) 2 = 8.00 μ F .

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  • Capacitors are used to supply energy to a variety of devices, including defibrillators, microelectronics such as calculators, and flash lamps.
  • The energy stored in a capacitor is the work required to charge the capacitor, beginning with no charge on its plates. The energy is stored in the electrical field in the space between the capacitor plates. It depends on the amount of electrical charge on the plates and on the potential difference between the plates.
  • The energy stored in a capacitor network is the sum of the energies stored on individual capacitors in the network. It can be computed as the energy stored in the equivalent capacitor of the network.

Conceptual questions

If you wish to store a large amount of energy in a capacitor bank, would you connect capacitors in series or parallel? Explain.

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How much energy is stored in an 8.00 - μ F capacitor whose plates are at a potential difference of 6.00 V?

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A capacitor has a charge of 2.5 μ C when connected to a 6.0-V battery. How much energy is stored in this capacitor?

7.5 μ J

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How much energy is stored in the electrical field of a metal sphere of radius 2.0 m that is kept at a 10.0-V potential?

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(a) What is the energy stored in the 10.0 - μ F capacitor of a heart defibrillator charged to 9.00 × 10 3 V ? (b) Find the amount of the stored charge.

a. 405 J; b. 90.0 mC

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In open-heart surgery, a much smaller amount of energy will defibrillate the heart. (a) What voltage is applied to the 8.00 - μ F capacitor of a heart defibrillator that stores 40.0 J of energy? (b) Find the amount of the stored charge.

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A 165 - μ F capacitor is used in conjunction with a dc motor. How much energy is stored in it when 119 V is applied?

1.15 J

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Suppose you have a 9.00-V battery, a 2.00 - μ F capacitor, and a 7.40 - μ F capacitor. (a) Find the charge and energy stored if the capacitors are connected to the battery in series. (b) Do the same for a parallel connection.

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An anxious physicist worries that the two metal shelves of a wood frame bookcase might obtain a high voltage if charged by static electricity, perhaps produced by friction. (a) What is the capacitance of the empty shelves if they have area 1.00 × 10 2 m 2 and are 0.200 m apart? (b) What is the voltage between them if opposite charges of magnitude 2.00 nC are placed on them? (c) To show that this voltage poses a small hazard, calculate the energy stored. (d) The actual shelves have an area 100 times smaller than these hypothetical shelves. Are his fears justified?

a. 4.43 × 10 12 F ; b. 452 V; c. 4.52 × 10 7 J ; d. no

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A parallel-plate capacitor is made of two square plates 25 cm on a side and 1.0 mm apart. The capacitor is connected to a 50.0-V battery. With the battery still connected, the plates are pulled apart to a separation of 2.00 mm. What are the energies stored in the capacitor before and after the plates are pulled farther apart? Why does the energy decrease even though work is done in separating the plates?

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Suppose that the capacitance of a variable capacitor can be manually changed from 100 pF to 800 pF by turning a dial, connected to one set of plates by a shaft, from 0 ° to 180 ° . With the dial set at 180 ° (corresponding to C = 800 pF ), the capacitor is connected to a 500-V source. After charging, the capacitor is disconnected from the source, and the dial is turned to 0 ° . If friction is negligible, how much work is required to turn the dial from 180 ° to 0 ° ?

0.7 mJ

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Questions & Answers

help me out on this question the permittivity of diamond is 1.46*10^-10.( a)what is the dielectric of diamond (b) what its susceptibility
a body is projected vertically upward of 30kmp/h how long will it take to reach a point 0.5km bellow e point of projection
Abu Reply
i have to say. who cares. lol. why know that t all
is this just a chat app about the openstax book?
Lord Reply
kya ye b.sc ka hai agar haa to konsa part
MPL Reply
what is charge quantization
Mayowa Reply
it means that the total charge of a body will always be the integral multiples of basic unit charge ( e ) q = ne n : no of electrons or protons e : basic unit charge 1e = 1.602×10^-19
is the time quantized ? how ?
What do you meanby the statement,"Is the time quantized"
Can you give an explanation.
there are some comment on the time -quantized..
time is integer of the planck time, discrete..
planck time is travel in planck lenght of light..
it's says that charges does not occur in continuous form rather they are integral multiple of the elementary charge of an electron.
it is just like bohr's theory. Which was angular momentum of electron is intral multiple of h/2π
determine absolute zero
The properties of a system during a reversible constant pressure non-flow process at P= 1.6bar, changes from constant volume of 0.3m³/kg at 20°C to a volume of 0.55m³/kg at 260°C. its constant pressure process is 3.205KJ/kg°C Determine: 1. Heat added, Work done, Change in Internal Energy and Change in Enthalpy
Opeyemi Reply
U can easily calculate work done by 2.303log(v2/v1)
Amount of heat added through q=ncv^delta t
Change in internal energy through q=Q-w
please how do dey get 5/9 in the conversion of Celsius and Fahrenheit
Gwam Reply
what is copper loss
timileyin Reply
this is the energy dissipated(usually in the form of heat energy) in conductors such as wires and coils due to the flow of current against the resistance of the material used in winding the coil.
it is the work done in moving a charge to a point from infinity against electric field
Ashok Reply
what is the weight of the earth in space
peterpaul Reply
As w=mg where m is mass and g is gravitational force... Now if we consider the earth is in gravitational pull of sun we have to use the value of "g" of sun, so we can find the weight of eaeth in sun with reference to sun...
g is not gravitacional forcé, is acceleration of gravity of earth and is assumed constante. the "sun g" can not be constant and you should use Newton gravity forcé. by the way its not the "weight" the physical quantity that matters, is the mass
Yeah got it... Earth and moon have specific value of g... But in case of sun ☀ it is just a huge sphere of gas...
Thats why it can't have a constant value of g ....
not true. you must know Newton gravity Law . even a cloud of gas it has mass thats al matters. and the distsnce from the center of mass of the cloud and the center of the mass of the earth
please why is the first law of thermodynamics greater than the second
Ifeoma Reply
every law is important, but first law is conservation of energy, this state is the basic in physics, in this case first law is more important than other laws..
First Law describes o energy is changed from one form to another but not destroyed, but that second Law talk about entropy of a system increasing gradually
first law describes not destroyer energy to changed the form, but second law describes the fluid drection that is entropy. in this case first law is more basic accorging to me...
define electric image.obtain expression for electric intensity at any point on earthed conducting infinite plane due to a point charge Q placed at a distance D from it.
Mateshwar Reply
explain the lack of symmetry in the field of the parallel capacitor
Phoebe Reply
pls. explain the lack of symmetry in the field of the parallel capacitor
does your app come with video lessons?
Ahmed Reply
Practice Key Terms 1

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Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 2. OpenStax CNX. Oct 06, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12074/1.3
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