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An arrangement of conductors separated by an insulator (dielectric) used to store charge or introduce reactance into an alternating-current circuit. The earliest form was the Leyden jar. Capacitors used as circuit elements have two conducting plates separated by the dielectric. The dielectric may be air, paper impregnated with oil or wax, plastic film, or ceramic. The simplest form has two parallel rectangular conducting plates (area A) separated by a dielectric (thickness d, permittivity ε). The capacitance of such a capacitor is Aε/d. Electrolytic capacitors are devices in which a thin layer of an oxide is deposited on one of the electrodes to function as the dielectric.

Subjects: Physics.

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