The electronic devices that can store electrical charge in them are called capacitors. Also, they can omit the passage of an AC flowing through them.
The structure of a capacitor consists of at least two conducting plates with a layer of dielectric material in between them.
- Capacitor is an electronic component that stores and releases electrical energy in a circuit by accumulating and separating electric charges on two conductive plates separated by an insulating material.
- Condenser is an older term for a capacitor, used primarily in the early days of electronics, and both terms refer to the same component with the same function.
- There is no functional difference between a capacitor and a condenser; the terms are interchangeable, with “capacitor” being the more commonly used term in modern electronics.
Capacitor vs Condenser
The difference between Capacitor and Condenser is that in comparison with the word condenser, capacitor is a relatively newer term. There is no difference in the working mechanism or the structure, it’s just that condenser is an older term used for capacitor.
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When a voltage is applied between two wires, a potential difference is created which generates a static electric field which is separated by the dielectric in positive and negative charges.
The negative charges get stored at the negative pole of the capacitor and the positive charges at the positive pole.
The term capacitor came into use from the year 1926. Before that, the term condenser was used in its place. Capacitor has only one definition in all fields of study while a condenser can mean different instruments in other fields of study.
|Parameters of Comparison||Capacitor||Condenser|
|Term||Capacitor is a newer term used in place of condenser.||Condenser is an old term used for capacitor.|
|Year||The term capacitor fully replaced the term condenser in the year 1926.||The term condenser was stopped from using from the year 1926.|
|Definition in other fields of study||The working, structure and definition stays the same in all fields of study of a capacitor.||Condenser has different workings, structure in different fields of study. It can also be a whole different device in some studies.|
|Energy conversion||The energy stored in the capacitor turns into an electric field between the plates of the capacitor.||The energy stored in a condenser gets turned into an electrostatic field between the poles of the condenser.|
|Uses||Capacitors are used for signal coupling, motor starting, decoupling, filtering, in memory applications, etc.||Condensers are used to convert gas into fluid by removing the heat present in the system and also as an optical instrument that focuses the light beam at one point.|
What is Capacitor?
A capacitor can be described as a system of two or more conducting bodies which have a layer of dielectric between them that has an ability to accumulate electricity.
The capacitance of a capacitor depends on the dielectric present between the conducting plates.
Also, the capacitance increases with the increase in the surface area of the plates and decreases with the distance between them. To obtain a higher capacitance, the capacitors can be grouped.
When grouped in parallel, the capacitance of the whole system increases. When grouped in series, the capacitance of the whole system decreases.
Capacitors are mainly divided into electrolytic, electrostatic and electrochemical depending on the method of manufacturing.
What is Condenser?
Condenser is an older term used for capacitor. To be precise, the term was stopped from using from the year 1926 when the term capacitor was more commonly used.
From an electrical perspective, both capacitors and condensers are the same devices. There is no difference in their definition, working or in their structure.
But when seen in other fields of study, the term condenser may be used to describe other different devices.
For example, if looked upon from an optical perspective, the condenser can be described as an optical system that helps in focusing the rays of light from a light source into a more focused and narrower beam.
When looked upon from a mechanical perspective, it can be described as a device used to condense gas into liquid by decreasing the heat present in the system.
Main Differences Between Capacitor and Condenser
- Capacitor is a newer term while condenser is an old term. It is used in place of the term condenser for a long time.
- Capacitor was scientifically put in place of the term condenser in the year 1926. After that, the term condenser was rarely used.
- The energy stored in the capacitor is turned into an electric field that flows between the plates of the capacitor whereas the energy stored in a condenser is turned into an electrostatic field which flows between the poles of the condenser.
- The structure, working mechanism and definition of a capacitor never changes in any field of study while the working mechanism and structure of a condenser is different in other fields of study. Sometimes, the condenser can also be a whole different device.
- Examples of the use of capacitors are signal coupling, decoupling, motor starting, filtering, in computer memory applications, etc whereas examples of the use of condensers are as an optical instrument which focuses the light beam at one point and also as a device used to convert gas into fluid by removing the heat present in the system.
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.