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Dielectric, Electric susceptibility (Read 3902 times)
Gerrit-Jan Linker
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Dielectric, Electric susceptibility
24.08.10 at 10:02:55
A dielectric is an electrical insulator that may be polarized by an applied electric field.
When a dielectric is placed in an electric field, electric charges do not flow through the material, as in a conductor, but only slightly shift from their average equilibrium positions causing dielectric polarization.
Because of dielectric polarization, positive charges are displaced toward the field and negative charges shift in the opposite direction. This creates an internal electric field that partly compensates the external field inside the dielectric. The electric susceptibility of a dielectric matrial is a measure of how easily it polarises in response of an electric field.
If a dielectric is composed of weakly bonded molecules, those molecules not only become polarized, but also reorient so that their symmetry axis aligns to the field.
Although the term "insulator" refers to a low degree of electrical conduction, the term "dielectric" is typically used to describe materials with a high polarizability. The latter is expressed by a number called the dielectric constant.
See also:
Dielectric Constant
Dielectric Function
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« Last Edit: 11.07.12 at 21:57:24 by Gerrit-Jan Linker »  

Gerrit-Jan Linker
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