In the drawing at the left, the time required for the capacitor to
charge to 63.2% of the battery voltage after the switch is closed is the
product of the resistance and capacitance T=(R*C). For example, a 100 uF
capacitor and 100K resistor would require 10 seconds to charge to 7.6 volts
using a 12 volt battery. The Java calculator below can be used to determine
the capacitor voltage at other times after the switch is closed.
Any of the five variables can be determined by supplying the other four.
For example, in the graph below, a 1 Farad capacitor charging through
a 1 ohm resistor and 1 volt battery will reach 777 millivolts in 1.5
seconds. From left to right, the entries would be 1, .001, 1000000, 1500
with the "Instantaneous Voltage" field left blank, or zero. The result
would be 0.777. Only one field should be blank or 0 before each calculation.