Many different types of components and devices can be found in modern circuits, including resistors, capacitors, and inductors, semiconductor devices like diodes, transistors, and integrated circuits, transducers like microphones, light sensors and motions sensors, actuators like motors and solenoids, and various other devices like heating and lighting elements. Devices in a circuit are connected to one another by means of electrical conductors, or wires. These wires can move electric currents between various points in a circuit. Once a wire connects two or more devices, the wire and all attached device connectors are said to form a single circuit node or net. Any electrical activity on a given net is communicated to all devices attached to the net. Certain nets provide electric power to devices, and other nets carry information between devices. Nets that carry information are called signals, and signals transport information encoded as voltage levels around a circuit. Signal nets typically use smaller conductors, and transport very small currents. Nets that carry power are called supply rails (or just supplies) and supply rails transport electric power around a circuit. Power nets typically use much larger conductors that signal nets, because they must transport larger currents.
A capacitor is a device that stores energy in the form of voltage. The most common form of capacitors is made of two parallel plates separated by a dielectric material. Charges of opposite polarity can be deposited on the plates, resulting in a voltage V across the capacitor plates. Capacitance is a measure of the amount of electrical charge required to build up one unit of voltage across the plates.
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