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Hi! I got stuck in studying the book "introduction to electrodynamics" written by griffith

I attached the related pictures above. The page is p.161-p.162.

It's concerned with calculating the atomic polarizability of an atom consisting of an nucleus surrounded by a uniformly charged spherical cloud. I agree with the idea under an electric field E[itex]^{\rightarrow}[/itex] the atom is polarized so that it pulls the nucleus of the atom apart from the uniformly charged spherical cloud. As you can see in p.162, it is said that the dipole moment of the polarized atom is just qd. I think that this is the same dipole moment of two charges q, -q(opposite charges) separated apart from each other with distance d (that is, -q can be thought to be positioned at the center of the spherical cloud). I think to calculate the dipole moment of the polarized atom consisting of spherical cloud and the nucleus the integral formula [itex]\int[/itex]r[itex]^{\rightarrow}[/itex]ρ(r)dτ must be used. However, I'm not sure if it has the same value with qd. Do you think it is the exact value of the formula or qd is just an approximation of the value of the formula?

As said in the p.162, the electric field to the plus charge q caused by the spherical cloud is [itex]\frac{qd}{4\pi\epsilon_{0}a^{3}}[/itex]. This is equal to [itex]\frac{q}{4\pi\epsilon_{0}}[/itex][itex]\frac{d}{a}[/itex][itex]^{3}[/itex][itex]\frac{1}{d^{2}}[/itex].

If I assume a is approximately d, then it is equal to [itex]\frac{q}{4\pi\epsilon_{0}d^{2}}[/itex]. So, It has the same effect with the spherical cloud replaced by point charge -q positioned at the center of the spherical cloud. From this, I expect that the point charge -q might be used to approximate it. However, even though it has the same effect in producing electric field to the point charge q, does it also have the same effect in making dipole moment? And furthermore, how am I sure that a is approximately equal to d??

I hope someone else answers my question.

Thank you for reading my question!!

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# Homework Help: Calculating the atomic polarizability of an atom

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