Simple yet effective, they come in a dizzying array of forms and materials. Vital to so many circuits for storage, timing, and filtration – the mighty capacitor!

Download the m4v file or subscribe in iTunes

In this installment of the MAKE presents series I explain – how to build a leyden jar, how the capacitor was invented, and how to use one to light an LED. I incorporated some viewer requests from MAKE presents: The Resistor and I’ll be adding more in the next installment. Please a comment if there’s anything else you’d like to see covered in this series.

15 thoughts on “MAKE presents: The Capacitor

  1. I think you should do one covering ohm’s law. I’m still a little sketchy understanding it.

    also i think transistors and diodes are in order i can see this stuff being played in high school science classes!


  2. Hi Collin – cheers for that, I am a total newb and it’s really useful to have the basics explained. I’ve kindof dived in at Arduino level with only very vague ideas about what the basic associated components do. I think there are probably quite a lot of people like me – programmers, who are starting in the middle etc, and who are struggling a bit because we’ve missed the beginning.

    Anyway… did you know you look a bit like Graham from the Goodies?

  3. Oh that’s marvellous! Leyden jars are neat things and fun as heck to play with and I’ll second the Ohm’s law suggestion – a solid understanding of Ohm’s law is essential.

  4. excellent video! very well done! I’m looking forward to more of these “make explains” videos. If someone had explained electronics to me like this when I was a kid, I probably would have taken a very different career path.

  5. This series is great! A fantastic resource for noobs and even old hands who might not know about the history of their favourite components. Keep it up!

  6. Great vids, but capacitors are so much more than just “energy storage devices”. How are they different from a battery? Batteries store energy, right?

    How about their amazing ability to pass AC signals and leave DC alone.
    Or their ability to pass only signals above a certain frequency, or cut off frequencies above a frequency. Or do both in the same circuit.

    How about their ability to filter a noise out of a DC circuit (like in a power supply) and fill in some extra juice when needed.

    Or their ability to be used as a timer (when coupled with a resistor).

    How about showing the square wave going into a cap and the output like you did in the inductor vid?

    And lastly, how could you make a video about capacitors without blowing an electrolytic up!!! Come on!

    I see a Capacitors Part II in your future…

    Really great job guys!

Comments are closed.