An example of a capacitor is what helps keep the electronic system in a car running smoothly.
cutaway of a can-style electrolytic capacitor
capacitor - Computer Definition
An electrical device specifically designed to store an electrostatic charge, a capacitor is a system of conductors and dielectrics.A capacitor opposes changes in voltage, whereas an inductor opposes changes in current. See also capacitive reactance, conductor, current, dielectric, inductor, and voltage.
An electronic component that stores an electric charge and releases it when required. It comes in a huge variety of sizes and types for use in regulating power as well as for conditioning, smoothing and isolating signals. Capacitors are made from many different materials, and virtually every electrical and electronic system uses them. Somewhat Like a Battery Capacitors act like tiny storage batteries that charge and discharge rapidly. Made of two plates separated by a thin insulator or sometimes air, when one plate is charged negative and the other positive, a charge builds up and remains after the current is removed. When power is required, the circuit is switched to conduct current between the plates, and the charge is released. See ultracapacitor. Many Applications Big capacitors are used in computer power supplies. Tiny discrete ceramic and tantalum capacitors are built on the outside of the chip package or surround the chip on the motherboard. In signal processing, a capacitor and resistor smooth the spikes and sharp edges from a signal. In DRAM chips, capacitors are microscopic cells that hold the 0s and 1s (bits). Logic circuits, which are mostly transistors and resistors, may also contain capacitors. See tantalum capacitor and ferroelectric capacitor.