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Homework Help: Dielectrics and Maximum Potential Difference

  1. Feb 20, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    The radiation detector known as a Geiger Counter uses a closed hollow cylindrical tube with an insulated wire along its axis. Suppose a Geiger tube as its called has a 1.0mm diameter wire in a tube with a 25mm inner diameter. The tube is filled with a low pressure gas whose dielectric strength is 1.0*10^6 V/m. What is the maximum potential difference between the wire and tube?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I understand that the dielectric strength is the material's maximum sustainable electric field. I feel like you could set (delta)V = to Emax (dielectric strength) times the distance between the wire and the edge of the tube (.0125-.0005) and solve. However that seems too easy and doesnt seem totally right to me. That being said I really don't know how to start this problem. If someone could give me a push in the right direction and help me work it through I'd really appreciate it. Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
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