Capacitor discharging circuit with LED decay

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The following circuit contains a simple LED that lights up when the pushbutton is pressed down. However, also in the circuit is a capacitor that gets charged at the same time.

When the pushbutton is released, the capacitor discharges its stored charge through the LED towards ground. The end result is that the LED appears to fade out as the capacitor's current flows through it, rather than immediately turn off.

Circuit diagram for LED with capacitor decay


  1. Looking at the circuit schematic diagam, why does the capacitor discharge up through the LED part of the circuit, and not directly from the capacitor down to ground?

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