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The RC Circuit
 
If a capacitor with capacitance C and charged with a charge Q0 is connected to a resistor of resistance R, it starts to discharge in a process that is described by the formula
Q(t) = Q0exp(t/τ) ,
where τ = RC is the time constant (or the relaxation time) of the R - C circuit. In a time t = τ, the charge of the capacitor will decrease by a factor of e = 2,7. In the process of discharge, the energy stored in the capacitor is released on the resistor as heat.
 
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