Electromagnetism – Capacitor

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The capacitor shown in Figure 1 above is charged by connecting switch S to contact a. If switch S is thrown to contact b at time t = 0, which of the curve in Figure 2 above represents the magnitude of the current through the resistor R as a function of time?

A. A
B. B
C. C
D. D
E. E

(GR9677 #01)


The capacitor is charged by connecting switch S to contact a, so the current after connecting switch to contact b (t = 0) must start with I = V/R.

Only plot A and B are right.

The current can not be the same all the time and since the voltage of a capacitor follows an exponential decay:

V(t) = V0e−t/RC 
I(t) = V(t)/RV0e−t/RC/ R

Only plot B is right.

Answer: B

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