I was reading the Wikipedia page about the applications of capacitor, when I saw an example there for a simple oscillator circuit :

Yet I noticed the capacitor seems to be connected to the (-) terminal from both sides.

How can this circuit function when the capacitor is connected in such a way ? am I missing something here?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The capacitor is not connected directly to ground/- on either end - there are other components between the capacitor terminals and ground. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 13, 2017 at 23:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterBennett Yes there are, i did not suggest otherwise, since there isn't a clear path that i could notice, but then again, what am i missing ? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 13, 2017 at 23:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Neither of the two sides of the capacitor are at ground potential (-) \$\endgroup\$
    – DerStrom8
    Jun 14, 2017 at 0:38
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/261288/… \$\endgroup\$
    – G36
    Jun 14, 2017 at 3:25

1 Answer 1


The capacitor is not connected directly to ground. The lamp on one end and the resistor on the other end keep the capacitor above ground potential.

The capacitor is providing feedback from the output to the input. This causes the circuit to oscillate.


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