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3: Dipoles and Dielectrics

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    In contrast to conductors, the motion of charges in dielectrics is restricted to the atom/molecule interiors, so that the electric polarization of these materials by an external field takes a different form. This issue is the main subject of this chapter, but in preparation for its analysis, we have to start with a general discussion of the electric field induced by a spatially-restricted system of charges.

    Thumbnail: The electric field lines and equipotential lines for field of two point charges. (CC BY-SA 3.0; Geek3 via Wikipedia).

    This page titled 3: Dipoles and Dielectrics is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Konstantin K. Likharev via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.