Difference Between Capacitor and Resistor (With Table)

Capacitor vs Resistor

The difference between Capacitor and Resistor is that while a capacitor is an electronic device used to store electrical energy in the form of charges, a resistor is an electronic device used to resist or block the flow of current in a circuit. The capacitors can basically store an electrical charge for a short period while the resistors block the current in a circuit.

Capacitor and Resistors are two very important passive components of an electric circuit. Both of them play different roles in determining how the circuit behaves and are connected through conductive wires through which electricity pass.

When a capacitor is connected to a circuit, because of its insulating layer DC Circuit can’t flow through the circuit and is stored in the form of charge across the conductive wires. On the other hand, when a Resistor is connected to a circuit, it absorbs the electric current and dissipates the energy in the form of heat.


 

Comparison Table Between Capacitor and Resistor (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonCapacitorResistor
What?A Capacitor is an electrical component used to store electric charge.A Resistor is an electrical component used to restrict the flow of current in an electric circuit. It creates friction like a force that blocks the current.
Effect on CircuitWhen added, a Capacitor stores electrical energy in the form of charges across the conductive plate.When added, a Resistor absorbs electrical energy and dissipates it in the form of heat.
UseCapacitors are used for filtering, smoothening, coupling different sections of the circuit, and limiting high voltage transient across the circuit.Resistors are used to reduce current flow, divide voltages, terminate transmission lines, and adjust the signal level.
Power lossCapacitor does not make any electrical power loss.Resistor creates power loss and creates heat.
Dependence on FrequencyThe opposition to the flow of current depends on the applied frequency.The opposition to the flow of current does not depend on the applied frequency.
UnitsCapacitance is measured in farad.Resistance is measured in ohm.
FormulaC=Q/VR=V/I
ScopeIt can block only DC Current.It can block both DC and AC Currents.

 

What is Capacitor?

A capacitor is basically a passive component of an electric circuit that has the potential to store energy in the form of an electrical charge producing potential difference across its plate. Many varied sizes of capacitors are available including very small used in resonance circuits to large capacitors used in power factor correction.

It consists of two (or more) parallel metal plates which do not touch each other but are electrically spaced separately (by air or by some other good like mica, plastic, etc.). This insulating layer between conductive plates is called Dielectric.

Because of the presence of an insulating layer, DC current cannot flow through the capacitor, and instead, a voltage is developed around the plates in the form of an electric charge. On the other hand, when capacitors are connected to the AC circuit the current passes through the capacitor with little resistance.

It basically makes the electric charge by making use of external voltage. Therefore, it only stores electrons to store energy and emit the charges later whenever required.

A capacitor can be classified as Fixed Capacitors, the ones whose capacitance shows the fixed value and does not adjust behavior and the Variable Capacitors, the ones which show adjustable behavior to circuit operations.

The formula to find capacitance is C=Q/V. Capacitance (in farad) equals to Charge (in coulomb) divided by Voltage (in volts).

Capacitor
 

What is Resistor?

A Resistor is another basic component of the electrical circuit. It restricts and blocks the flow of electric current through a circuit.

The Resistance of a Resistor is measured by the energy that it is capable of dissipating in the electric circuit. It contributes in limiting the charging rate of the capacitor, in adjusting the frequency response of RF circuits, and acts as a voltage divider for the circuit.

When a resistor is connected to a circuit, it controls the flow of charge by absorbing the electrical charge and later dissipating it in the form of heat. Two basic measurements related to resistors are resistance (measured in ohm) and power to dissipate energy (measured in watt).

A Resistor can be classified as Fixed Resistor, in which the value of resistance offered is fixed and Variable Resistor, which offers adjustable resistance when connected to any circuit.

The formula to calculate resistance is R=V/I. Resistance (in ohms) equals to Voltage (in volts) divided by Current (in ampere).

Resistor

Main Differences Between Capacitor and Resistor

  • A capacitor is an electronic component that stores electric energy in the form of charge while the Resistor is an electronic component that limits or regulates or blocks current in the circuit.
  • A capacitor is used to keep the positive and negative charges separate while the Resistor is used to control the flow of current to other components of the circuit.
  • A capacitor stores the electrical current in the form of charges across the conductive wires while the Resistor absorbs electrical energy and dissipates it in the form of heat.
  • A capacitor does not lead to any power loss while Resistor does.
  • Capacitance is measured in farads, by dividing charge by the voltage while Resistance is measured in ohm, by dividing voltage by the current.

 

Conclusion

Both the capacitor and resistor are important components of an electric circuit. They work to determine the behavior of the circuit and are connected through conductive wires.

They are still different in many ways that can’t be ignored. A capacitor is an electrical device that stores the electric energy in the form of charges across the conductive wire and helps in separating the positive and negative charges while Resistor is an electrical device that blocks and limits the flow of current in a circuit.

The capacitor does not cause any power loss and the flow of current depends on the applied frequency. Capacitance is measured in farads and is equal to Charges (in coulomb) divided by the voltage (in volts).

Resistors cause power losses and the flow of current does not depend on the applied frequency. Resistance is measured in ohm and equals voltage (in volts) divided by current (in ampere).


 

Word Cloud for Difference Between Capacitor and Resistor

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Capacitor and Resistor. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Capacitor and Resistor