Question

Asked Oct 14, 2019

A capacitor stores a separation of charge. To separate the charges on a capacitor, you have to move charges against where the E field wants to push them (the oppositely charges on the two plates are attracted and want to move together), so charging takes work. That work becomes stored energy -- just like carrying water up a hill so that you can let it roll down at a later time and turn a generator. The total amount of energy stored in a capacitor is ½|*Q*||Δ*V*|. We'll use this to determine the amount of energy stored in a cell membrane.

In discussion, we found that a cell membrane maintains a potential difference of about 70 mV (0.07 V) between the inside and outside of the membrane. We also found that a 1 μm by 1 μm section of the membrane has a capacitance of about 1.75 10^{-15} F.

The radius of the cell is 10 μm.

**4. What is the total energy stored in the full cell membrane?**

The answer is NOT 1.539e-13, 8.56e-18, or 4.28e-18.

Step 1

The equation for the capacitance is given by

Step 2

The equation for the charge store...

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