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Capacitor vs. Resistor: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Published on December 30, 2023
A capacitor stores electrical energy in an electric field, while a resistor reduces current flow and lowers voltage levels within circuits.

Key Differences

A capacitor stores and releases electrical energy, functioning as a temporary battery. A resistor, conversely, impedes the flow of electricity, controlling current and voltage.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 30, 2023
Capacitors are made with two conductive plates separated by an insulating material. Whereas, resistors are constructed with materials that oppose the flow of electrical current.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 30, 2023
Capacitors are used to stabilize voltage and power supply, filter signals, and for energy storage. While, resistors are employed to adjust signal levels, divide voltages, and limit current.
Huma Saeed
Dec 30, 2023
Capacitors block direct current (DC) and allow alternating current (AC) to pass. In contrast, resistors reduce current flow in both AC and DC circuits without differentiating.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 30, 2023
Capacitors do not dissipate energy but store it. Resistors convert electrical energy into heat, dissipating energy from the circuit.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 30, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Function

Stores and releases electrical energy
Reduces current flow and voltage
Sumera Saeed
Dec 30, 2023

Construction

Two conductive plates with an insulator
Material that opposes electrical flow
Sumera Saeed
Dec 30, 2023

Usage

Stabilizing power supply, filtering signals
Adjusting signal levels, limiting current
Sumera Saeed
Dec 30, 2023

Behavior with AC/DC

Blocks DC, passes AC
Impedes flow in both AC and DC
Harlon Moss
Dec 30, 2023

Energy Handling

Stores energy
Converts energy into heat
Harlon Moss
Dec 30, 2023
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Capacitor and Resistor Definitions

Capacitor

An electrical component that stores and releases energy.
The capacitor in the circuit stored the excess energy.
Janet White
Dec 01, 2023

Resistor

An electrical component that restricts current flow.
A resistor was added to the circuit to reduce the current.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 01, 2023

Capacitor

A component consisting of two plates separated by an insulator.
The charge is stored on the plates of the capacitor.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Resistor

Converts electrical energy into heat.
The resistor heated up as it impeded the electrical flow.
Janet White
Dec 01, 2023

Capacitor

Used in electronic devices for temporary energy storage.
Capacitors in the flash unit store energy for quick release.
Janet White
Dec 01, 2023

Resistor

Made from materials that oppose electrical flow.
The resistor's material helps dissipate excess energy as heat.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Capacitor

A device used for filtering and stabilizing electrical signals.
We added a capacitor to smooth out the voltage fluctuations.
Janet White
Dec 01, 2023

Resistor

A device used to control the voltage within a circuit.
We used a resistor to divide the voltage across the circuit.
Huma Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Capacitor

An element that can block DC and allow AC to pass.
The capacitor effectively blocked the DC current.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 01, 2023

Resistor

Integral for adjusting signal levels in electronics.
Adjusting the resistor changed the signal's amplitude.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 01, 2023

Capacitor

An electric circuit element typically consisting of two metallic plates separated and insulated from each other by a dielectric, used to store charge temporarily or to filter signal frequencies. Also called condenser.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Resistor

A device used to control current in an electric circuit by providing resistance.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Capacitor

(electronics) An electronic component capable of storing electrical energy in an electric field; especially one consisting of two conductors separated by a dielectric.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Resistor

One who resists, especially a person who fights against an occupying army.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Capacitor

A device used in electronic circuits to hold electrical charge, consisting of two conducting plates separated by a nonconducting (dielectric) medium; it is characterized by its capacitance.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Resistor

(electronics) An electric component that transmits current in direct proportion to the voltage across it.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Capacitor

An electrical device characterized by its capacity to store an electric charge
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Resistor

An electrical device that resists the flow of electrical current
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

FAQs

Can capacitors conduct electricity?

They can store and release electricity but don't conduct it like a wire.
Harlon Moss
Dec 30, 2023

How does a capacitor work?

It stores energy in an electric field between two conductive plates separated by an insulator.
Huma Saeed
Dec 30, 2023

What are capacitors used for?

They're used in electronic circuits for energy storage, filtering, and signal processing.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 30, 2023

Are capacitors reusable?

Yes, they can be charged and discharged many times.
Janet White
Dec 30, 2023

What are the types of capacitors?

Common types include ceramic, electrolytic, and film capacitors.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 30, 2023

What is a resistor?

A resistor is a component that resists the flow of electrical current.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 30, 2023

What is a capacitor?

A capacitor is an electronic component that stores and releases electrical energy.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 30, 2023

What are resistors used for?

They're used to control current, divide voltages, and limit current.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 30, 2023

What are the types of resistors?

Common types include fixed, variable, wirewound, and carbon film resistors.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 30, 2023

How are capacitors rated?

They are rated by capacitance, voltage, and tolerance.
Janet White
Dec 30, 2023

Can a capacitor explode?

Yes, if overcharged or improperly used, they can explode.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 30, 2023

What is capacitance?

Capacitance is the ability of a capacitor to store electrical charge.
Janet White
Dec 30, 2023

How are resistors rated?

By resistance value, power rating, and tolerance.
Janet White
Dec 30, 2023

Are resistors affected by temperature?

Yes, their resistance can change with temperature.
Janet White
Dec 30, 2023

How does a resistor work?

It reduces current flow and lowers voltage levels within circuits.
Harlon Moss
Dec 30, 2023

Can resistors store energy?

No, they dissipate energy as heat but don’t store it.
Janet White
Dec 30, 2023

What is resistance?

Resistance is the measure of how much a resistor opposes current flow.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 30, 2023

How do resistors affect current flow?

They reduce the flow of current through a circuit.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 30, 2023

How do capacitors affect current flow?

They can temporarily store current, affecting the flow in a circuit.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 30, 2023

Can a resistor fail?

Yes, usually by breaking or burning out, which stops current flow.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 30, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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