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Capacitance and Effective Electric Field

  1. Oct 29, 2014 #1
    Im trying to gain a more conceptual understanding of capacitance.

    Capacitance is the ability of a parallel plate capacitor to store charge, and thereby voltage, between its two plates. The more charge the capacitor can store per input voltage, the greater the capacitance.

    Hence the relationship:

    Q=VC or C=Q/V

    For the same amount of charge, a "better" capacitor with a larger capacitance would require less voltage (I am interpreting this right, right? haha).

    My question is regarding how capacitance relates to electric field.

    The way dielectric materials work is that they decrease the effective electric field between the two parallel plates by getting polarized by the applied field. This polarization lowers the amount of electric filed felt by the charges on the opposite plate. (am I understanding it right until this point?).

    My question is, conceptually, how does lowering the electric field between the two plates increase the charge holding capacity, aka capacitance, of the capacitor?

    Is it that the stronger the electric field, the greater the force pulling the charges across the space in between the plates and so, the more likely it is that the charges will be able to "jump" across, thereby neutralizing/lowering some of the voltage set up across the capacitor?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 4, 2014 #2
    Thanks for the post! Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post?
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