Circuits by Analogy

Some not so useful useful but cool sounding and true analogies I have used during my office hours while teaching undergrads about circuits:

Charging a capacitor is like falling out of an airplane.

“Charging” an inductor is like a bunch of uranium decaying.

A circuit with an inductor and a capacitor is like a pendulum.

A circuit with an inductor, capacitor, and resistor is like a pendulum in oil.

A circuit with an inductor, capacitor, resistor and AC power source is like pushing a kid on a swing.

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3 responses to “Circuits by Analogy

  1. A circuit with an inductor, capacitor, resistor, AC power source and a noise generator is bad for your grades ^_,^

  2. So what’s the analogy for a circuit with an inductor, capacitor, and memristor? ;)

  3. I tend to prefer a mass attached to a spring slidiing a frictionless surface for the RC circuit analogy. Somehow the inductance/mass and capacitance/spring constant analogies seem more intuitive to me than inductance/length of string and capacitance/g. I suppose it makes adding a resistor a bit harder, since the idea of a velocity dependent frictional force is likely to be pretty foreign to them, but nicer for the basic one in my mind.

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