using capacitor as lowpass(bypass) filter

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by donut, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. donut

    Thread Starter Member

    May 23, 2012
    Having a problem explaining to my 10 year old son how a capacitor works as a low pass filter? I mean how do I explain to him how the high pass signal gets filtered out and the low signal passes to the output?

    So lets say that the Capacitors Xc(reactance) is small; why would the high pass frequency want to travel through the capacitor and not through the output?
  2. BillB3857

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 28, 2009
    The basic capacitive reactance formula explains it. As frequency goes up, reactance goes down. Lower reactance to ground puts more of the higher frequency to ground.
  3. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    Sometimes we use the analogy of fluids, water or air.
    An electrical circuit is like water or air flowing in a pipe.
    The analogy of a capacitor is a large tank connected to the circuit.
    Imagine you have air flowing through pipes and the air pressure (voltage) is fluctuating.
    When the air reaches the tank or reservoir (capacitor), the tank buffers and dampens the fluctuations. What comes out after the tank is air pressure with less fluctuation, i.e. the high frequencies have been dampened or filtered out - a low-pass filter.
  4. JMac3108

    Active Member

    Aug 16, 2010

    Remember, the impedance of a capacitor (capacitive reactance) depends on frequency. As the frequency increases, the impedance decreases. So in the case of the low pass filter, the higher frequencies see a lower impedance to ground than the lower frequencies. Make sense?