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Capacitor and charge displacement

2. Capacitors and dielectrics

1. The capacitor and charge displacement cut off experiments

Experiment 1

The experiment tries to answer to this simple question: Can a capacitor be charged with an electron source (modified cathode ray tube)?

The present study put in evidence different comportment of a capacitor when is connected to a modified cathode ray tube and to a van de Graaff device. Both these devices are considered sources of ,,electric current” according to actual electromagnetism.  

The complete experiment is presented in the book.

A capacitor bought from market (fig. 1) was tested previously, measuring the capacitance and verifying the eventuality of a short circuit between plates.

Capacitor 01


Fig. 1

The second capacitor (fig. 2) was home made using aluminium kitchen foil of about 2 m long and polyethylene foil as dielectric. The plates with the dielectric inside are rolled on and a compact but quite powerful capacitor is obtained.

Capacitor 02


Figure 2.

As it can be seen, both capacitors are valid; their resistance is infinite ( in electronic jargon). Both capacitors when charged with a powerful DC source are able to produce sparks of minim 1 cm length.

The cathode ray tube (CRT) has to be modified a bit in order to get a flux of electrons in external circuit and this modification was already presented in another material related to the electric current definition

First the discharge current of this modified CRT is measured, related to a null point (house heating system) as in fig. 3.


Capacitor 03


Figure 3. Discharge current of a modified CRT

      With a new CRT tube recovered from a colour monitor, and in absence of capacitor the current in circuit was about 7 micro A,

After that the capacitor is introduced in circuit as in fig 4. The main points to be followed regard the variation of current intensity during charging.


Capacitor 04


Figure 4. CRT charge of a capacitor

The current passing through capacitor is about 80 %  from ,,current“ delivered by CRT in short-circuit mode. In the presence of capacitor the current intensity oscillate between 5,5 and 6.5 micro A.

In the experiment, no variation of capacitor charge electric current was observed in time. Even after hours of charging no variation of charging current was observed. The experiment was repeated with home made capacitor or with other with smaller, commercial capacitor. The results are the same. A capacitor does not charge in presence of an electric charge source, and leave the charge to pass through it for an indefinite time. Although the capacitors used in experiment have different capacitance, there is no significant variability of ,,measured current” in circuit in this case.

As you expect, the same capacitors are fully charged after less then a minute with a Van de Graaff device which deliver a much smaller current (2,5 micro A ).

It is difficult to explain how many things are to be eliminated from science due to this simple cut off experiment; therefore I will stick only with simple concepts and the rest are only consequences. If the ideea of charge movement and charge accumulation is not the reason for a capacitor charging process, everything what has been written in the last two centuries in electricity is nonsense.  


2. Discharging a capacitor and other absurdity

A capacitor consists of two metal plates which are separated by a non-conducting substance or dielectric. According to the size and type of dielectric used, the capacitor can be used for high-voltage as well as low-voltage applications.

The dielectric material is the main substance that helps in storing the electrical energy.

From low level physics books up to academic treatises, capacitors are presented as storing electrical charges devices. During the process of charging a number of electrons are somehow deposited on a plate, creating an excess of negative charges and a number of electrons are removed from the other plate and creating an deficit of electrons as in fig. 5.

Capacitor 05


Figure 5. Charging a capacitor

The same numbers of electric charges are always stored at the plus and minus sides and an electric field is generated between capacitor plates.

Experimental part:

A resistor having at least 1 Mega but better 100 Mega Ohm and designed for high Voltage application (50-100 kV or more) is necessary.

A home made capacitor consisting from two planar metallic wire mesh electrodes and a transparent dielectric (glass or a plastic material) is also necessary. A wire mesh with about 6 mm2 each square and metallic wire of about 1 mm thick is more then convenient. Of course a home Leyden jar made from a transparent glass bottle of 1 L is also convenient using wire mesh for electrodes inside and outside the bootle. Furthermore a Van de Graaff device and a device for detecting X ray, UV light or even visible light is also necessary.

At beginning the home made capacitor functionality is tested by charging it with Van de Graaff device and discharging it by short-circuit.

Then the capacitor has to be discharged through high resistance and in the same time the emission spectra of capacitor positive electrode has to be analysed. The scheme of the experiment is presented in fig. 6.

Capacitor 06



Figure 6 Experimental setup

Why positive electrode and the space around it have something special?

According to actual electromagnetism this plate and eventually the dielectric around him is ,,positively charged”. It means electrons were removed from atoms and a lot of cations are there.

During the process of charge extinction, when electrons are neutralising these positive nuclei, a broad spectra of X ray, UV VIS has to be observed as in fig. 7. 

Capacitor 07


Figure 7. Emission spectra during charge extinction

The results of experiment deny these predictions of actual electromagnetism and no X Ray, UV or visible light is observed during capacitor discharge through a resistance. If these predictions and actual electromagnetism were to be true, all our electronic devices must be restricted for consumer use, because all have to emit X ray and UV radiation.

And a bit of calculation:

The capacitance of the home made capacitor was 15 nF and for the Leyden jar bootle it was 2,5 nF. At minim 20 kV generated by Van de Graaff device, the accumulated charge will be at least:

Q=CV = 2,5 x10(exp-9) x 20 x 10(exp3) = 50 x 10exp(-6) C.

But Q=ne where n is the number of electrons and e is the charge of an electron.

Therefore n = Q/e =50 x 10exp(-6) / 1,6 x 10exp(-19) = ≈3,1 x 10exp(14) electrons.

How is possible that such huge number of electrons combine each time a capacitor is discharged through a resistor, with an equivalent number of positive nuclei and no emission spectra is observed in Visible, Ultraviolet or X ray domains?

The answer is very simple: charging and discharging a capacitor do not generate electrons and positive nuclei and the foundation of electromagnetism needs reconsideration. The entire explanation will be presented in the book.

The situation is even worse for actual electromagnetism when a capacitor is charged and discharged in alternate current. In this case, in a second, such capacitor have multiple cycles of charging and discharging and it should radiate X ray more then a classical X ray machine.

The experiment can be performed with low voltage capacitor too and the results are identical; it is a bit more complicate to observe the emission spectra of positive electrode during discharging though.



3. Dielectric, high Voltage and other absurdity

Experiment 3.

At the beginning of electricity as science it was observed that a Van der Graaf device is able to produce a huge potential, but is not able to store this potential on the metallic sphere. As soon the rotation of the belt stops, the sphere potential vanishes. Therefore the Leyda jar represented a step forward, because it was able to store this ,,electric” energy for later use.

There is already a link on the elkadot site where the explanations of Van de Graaff working principle is analyzed.

With some variations, an old but very instructive experiment called ,,dissectable Leyden jar” is reloaded here.

The Layden jar is the earliest form of a capacitor. For the purpose of experiment a variant of device (fig. 8) constructed out of a plastic cup nested between two fitting metal cups is used.

At beginning it is necessary to verify the functionality of Leyden jar. Therefore this is charged up with a Van de Graff machine and then discharged by shorting the inner and outer can to generate a spark and a specific sound.

Then the jar is recharged and disconnected from the Van de Graff. The inner can is lifted out with an insulated tool und after that the insulating material is lifted too.

If the metal parts are tested with an electroscope it can be proved the absence of charge on their surface or the inner and outer cans are short-circuited and nothings happened.

Capacitor 08


Figure 8.  Dissectible Leyden jar

Now reassemble it back carefully and when the outer and inner can touch a spark appears.

Depending on dielectric and the initial amount of charge, after a time, when inner and outer can are again short-circuited, a second spark appears.

Experiment interpretation

It was demonstrated (B. Franklin), long time ago, that the charge was stored inside dielectric (glass or plastic) and not on the plates or in conductive water as others had assumed. It is necessary to be mentioned that first variant of Leyden jar consisted in a glass bottle with water and a chain inside water.

Well known treatises of physics avoid presenting at least this experiment; for them, it is more important to present mathematical abstractions like surface or volume integrals than facts.

There is a very simple reason for this omission: there is no rational explanation for the experiment, and so hiding something unexplained is equivalent for actual theoreticians with non existence of some real facts.

I found in literature and in internet some ,,interesting” explanations.

According to mainstream scientists opinion, an insulator situated in close proximity of plates allows for free electrons from the negative plate to jump the small gap from that plate to the surface of the insulator. Since it is an insulator, electrons remain on the dielectric surface and they can’t go toward the positive plate.

Of course, as usual it is avoided to be explained what’s happen at the opposite plate.

The second plate is charged at a positive potential. According to actual interpretation, a positive potential means a deficit of electrons. When second plate is removed, in order to attaint a null potential, a number of electrons must be removed from dielectric surface EFGH as in fig. 9.


Capacitor 09


Figure 9 Positive plate removals

Let’s pass over the mecanism  for this ,,electrons extraction”  and let’s look after other consequences. What’s happen when both neutral plates are attached again to such dielectric?

At the negative charged surface of dielectric it can be admitted that a transfer of charge takes place between metallic plate and dielectric surface and the electrode becomes again negatively charged.  

But at positive charged surface of dielectric, charge neutralization must occur. As far, according to actual interpretation, metallic network is a pool of free electrons, a great number of them are attracted by positive ions of dielectric and charge extinction takes place at surface of dielectric leaving the metal plate a positive charge (deficit of electrons).

In the frame of quantum mechanic, it is postulated that at atomic level charge extinction takes place with energy release in form of photons (X ray, UV, VIS) and electron jump from free state to ground state must respect quantum laws.

As consequence, when positive charges on the dielectric surface extinct, the surface must become a source of electromagnetic radiation in infrared, visible, ultraviolet, X ray and even in microwave and radio domain as is presented in fig. 7.

It is very strange how generation after generation of physicists, researchers, schoolteachers and schoolboys repeated this experiment and all of them were blind and didn’t observe the light emission during this simple experiment.

Of course a simple detector in VIS, UV, X ray, microwave can confirm the absence of microwave or photons emission and implicitly the absurdity of this explanation.

A second explanation found was like: when plates are taken apart from dielectric a corona effect appear and surface of dielectric remain charged. This second possibility does not worth to be discussed. A corona effect means a generation of both positive and negatives charges with energy consumption. In case of capacitor dismantle there are no new charges generated and no apparent loss of energy. A corona effect would have as consequence a discharge of dielectric in few seconds or minutes from dismantling. In reality the energy remains stored there for hours and days. Of course, this explanation can be ruled out with some simple replication of the experiment when the capacitor is build up and dismantled for multiple times without electrodes short-circuit.

More problematic for actual theoreticians is to offer a consistent explanation for the second spark generation after an amount of time elapsed from the first spark.

It has to be admitted that electric charge is not only deposited on the surface of dielectric but goes inside material.... and this is already to much …and more than absurd…

In proposed explanation no charges are generated at electrodes, at dielectric surface or inside dielectric even in case of high voltage capacitors. In fact dielectric material changes its structure somehow and a new simple experiment able to describe and to measure in a quantitative way these changes is proposed in the book. It is so easy to perform the experiment even in a low level laboratory….

A second part about super capacitors is in working now….so stay tuned…!!!