Experiments involving RC circuits are an integral part of introductory physics courses. Previous articles using RC circuits describe determining the charge on a Van de Graaff generator, measuring currents and voltages in a charging RC circuit using a multimeter or an Arduino, measuring the decay constants of complex RC circuits, and using the Pasco ScienceWorkshop 750 Interface to examine various physical properties of capacitors. In this paper, I will show how to determine the capacitance of a capacitor charged with a battery of known voltage using an RC circuit and numerical integration performed on a spreadsheet.

1.
Francisco
Vera
,
Manuel
Ortiz
,
Diego
Romero-Maltrana
, and
Francisco Antonio
Horta-Rangel
, “
Using capacitors to measure charge in electrostatic experiments
,”
Phys. Teach.
56
,
525
527
.
2.
John G.
King
and
A. P.
French
, “
Using a multimeter to study an RC circuit
,”
Phys. Teach.
33
,
188
189
.
3.
Calin
Galeriu
,
Cheryl
Letson
, and
Geoffrey
Esper
, “
An Arduino investigation of the RC circuit
,”
Phys. Teach.
53
,
285
288
.
4.
A. A.
Moya
, “
An Arduino experiment to study charge-voltage relationships in capacitors
,”
Phys. Educ.
54
,
015005
.
5.
Herbert T.
Wood
, “
The RC circuit—A multipurpose laboratory experiment
,”
Phys. Teach.
31
,
372
373
.
6.
Y.
Kraftmakher
, “
Charge and energy stored in a capacitor
,”
Phys. Teach.
50
,
73
74
.
7.
National Research Council
,
A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas
(
National Academies Press
,
Washington, DC
,
2012
).
8.
Hugh D.
Young
and
Roger A.
Freedman
,
University Physics with Modern Physics,
13th ed. (
Pearson
,
New York
,
2014
), p.
867
.
9.
Debora M.
Katz
,
Physics for Scientists and Engineers
(
Cengage
,
Boston
,
2017
), p.
869
.
10.
George B.
Thomas
 Jr.
and
Ross L.
Finney
,
Calculus and Analytic Geometry
, 6th ed. (
Addison-Wesley
,
San Francisco
,
1984
), p.
272
.
11.
Ibid., p.
304
.
AAPT members receive access to The Physics Teacher and the American Journal of Physics as a member benefit. To learn more about this member benefit and becoming an AAPT member, visit the Joining AAPT page.