What happens to the configuration of molecules a dielectric when it is placed in an electric field?

Question:

What happens to the configuration of molecules a dielectric when it is placed in an electric field?

Electric Field and Dielectric Polarization

An electric field influences a charge by exerting a force, and depending on the source and the test charge, the force could be repulsive or attractive. Dielectric polarization is when an electric field is influencing a dielectric material and resulting in a separation of charges in the dielectric material.

Answer and Explanation:


When a dielectric is placed in an electric field, it will be polarized. This process is called dielectric polarization.

This occurs because the external electric field influences the charges in the dielectric material and causes a separation of positive and negative charges in such a way that an electric field will be produced that opposes the external electric field. This creates a slight shift from the equilibrium position of the charges of the dielectric material.


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Electric Fields: Definition & Examples

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