/keuh pas"i teuhr/, n. Elect.a device for accumulating and holding a charge of electricity, consisting of two equally charged conducting surfaces having opposite signs and separated by a dielectric. Also called condenser.[1925-30; CAPACIT(Y) + -OR2]
* * *device for storing electrical energy, consisting of two conductors (conductor) in close proximity and insulated from each other. A simple example of such a storage device is the parallel-plate capacitor. If positive charges with total charge +Q are deposited on one of the conductors and an equal amount of negative charge −Q is deposited on the second conductor, the capacitor is said to have a charge Q. See also electricity: Principle of the capacitor (electricity).Capacitors have many important applications. They are used, for example, in digital circuits so that information stored in large computer memories (computer memory) is not lost during a momentary electric power failure; the electric energy stored in such capacitors maintains the information during the temporary loss of power. Capacitors play an even more important role as filters to divert spurious electric signals and thereby prevent damage to sensitive components and circuits caused by electric surges.
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