A capacitive sensor is a proximity sensor that detects nearby objects by their effect on the electrical field created by the sensor. Capacitive proximity sensors use an alternating voltage which causes the charges to continually reverse their positions. The moving of the charges creates an alternating electric current which is detected by the sensor. The amount of current flow is determined by the capacitance, and the capacitance is determined by the area and proximity of the conductive objects. Larger and closer objects cause greater current than smaller and more distant objects. The capacitance is also affected by the type of nonconductive material in the gap between the objects.
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