Monday, 23 January 2017

WHAT IS DIELECTRIC - ELECTRICAL TECHNOLOGY BLOG - HOW ELECTRICAL WORKS.

A dielectric is an electrical insulator that can 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 they do 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 which reduces the overall field within the dielectric itself.

While the term "insulator" implies low electrical conduction, "dielectric" is typically used to describe materials with a high polarizability. The latter is expressed by a number called the dielectric constant.

The term insulator is generally used to indicate electrical obstruction while the term dielectric is used to indicate the energy storing capacity of the material (by means of polarization).
If the space between the plates of a capacitor is filled with an Dielectric, the capacitance of the capacitor will change compared to the situation in which there is vacuum between the plates.

The change in the capacitance is caused by a change in the electric field between the plates. The electric field between the capacitor plates will induce dipole moments in the material between the plates. These induced dipole moments will reduce the electric field in the region between the plates. A material in which the induced dipole moment is linearly proportional to the applied electric field is called a linear dielectric.

For linear dielectric:

Where K is called the dielectric constant. Since the final electric field E can never exceed the free electric field Efree, the dielectric constant k must be larger than 1.
The potential difference across a capacitor is proportional to the electric field between the plates.

Since the presence of a dielectric reduces the strength of the electric field, it will also reduce the potential difference between the capacitor plates (if the total charge on the plates is kept constant):

The capacitance C of a system with a dielectric is inversely proportional to the potential difference between the plates, and is related to the capacitance Cfree of a capacitor with no dielectric in the following manner.


Since k is larger than 1, the capacitance of a capacitor can be significantly increased by filling the space between the capacitor plates with a dielectric with a large k.
The electric field between the two capacitor plates is the vector sum of the fields generated by the charges on the capacitor and the field generated by the surface charges on the surface of the dielectric.

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