10. Time Constants and Filters

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10.1. RC Time Constants

A simple RC (resistor-capacitor) circuit has some very beneficial properties. It can provide surprisingly accurate and repeatable timing functions and can perform basic filtering functions very well.

Consider the simple RC circuit shown in Figure 10-1. It has a resistor, whose value, for simplicity, is 1 ohm and a capacitor whose value is not important right now. Assume we have a 1-volt (V) battery driving this pair. And finally, note that there is a switch that can switch the battery in and out of the circuit.

Figure 10-1 Simple RC circuit.

Assume the switch has been in the position shown ...

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