# polarized capacitor

#### zack

Joined Jun 9, 2004
3
Maybe it's a stupid question, I'm just in school. Can I put a polarized capacitor in the path of an AC signal? What happen when the negative cycle of the signal see the opposite polarity terminals of the capacitor?
Does the polarity applies only to DC signal?

Zack

#### mozikluv

Joined Jan 22, 2004
1,437
hi zack,

for a more detailed explanation about polarized caps try to see page 3 of "project forum" with a topic on "DC blocking cap." it was started by anathema and replies were by bipin and myself.

#### beenthere

Joined Apr 20, 2004
15,819
Hi Zack,

You'll ruin a polarized cap by passing AC through it. There is a work-around, though. Use two polar caps, each with twice the required capacitance. Wire them together such that both + or - terminals are connected together. Then put them in circuit with the unconnected terminals carrying the AC signal. Just make sure the voltage rating of both is greater than the applied voltage. Don't forget that AC is measured to give the RMS value, and that the peak voltage on the waveform will be on the order of 1.404 times the RMS value.

Read the stuff Mozikluv pointed out, too. It will give you some better appreciation of capacitors.

#### zack

Joined Jun 9, 2004
3
Thanks for the answers, I've read the post you told me. It's a little advanced for right now, but I remained with a doubt. Anathema was using electrolitic (polarized) capacitors in the audio signal, that for which I know is AC.
How can he use polarized caps in the audio signal path? Beenthere posted that AC can ruin a polarized cap, I'm still confused...

Zack

#### mozikluv

Joined Jan 22, 2004
1,437
hi,

hope this helps you to understand further - check this siteCapacitors