Capacitors are measured in the unit of capacitance, Farads, abbreviated F. A Farad is an extraordinarily large amount of capacitance, so typical capacitors have a capacitance of much less than 1 Farad. Rather than writing a decimal point and then 9 zeros in a row, we use prefixes as a shortcut (just like in units of length, e.g. meter, centimeter, millimeter, micrometer, etc.)

The prefix μ stands for micro, so 1 μF would be a microfarad. The symbol μ is the greek letter mu, but it pretty much looks like a u. The μ prefix implies that you multiply the value by 10^-6 (or 0.000001) to get the number of Farads. So:

1 μF = 0.000001 Farads

10 μF = 0.00001 Farads

155 μF = 0.000152 Farads

The p in pF stands for pico, so 1 pF is a picofarad (pronounced peek-o). Pico implies that you multiply the value by 10^-12 (or 0.000000000001). So:

1 pF = 0.000000000001 Farads

29 pF = 0.000000000029 Farads

4.7pF = 0.0000000000047 Farads

So, the short answer to your question is: No, you can't use a μF capacitor in place of a pF capacitor in your circuit.

Source(s):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SI_prefix#List_of_SI_prefixes

Anonymous
· 1 decade ago