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Electric fields in Matter

  1. Aug 16, 2005 #1
    Hi,
    Suppose we have a polarized object, and wish to calculate D(r) using
    D(r) = epsilon E + P

    Do we have to account for the electric field that the polarized object creates, or is it enough to just use the electric field which created the polarization?
    Thanks

    Ray
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2005 #2

    Meir Achuz

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    That equation relates the total E field to the total D field, so you should include the field due to the object.
     
  4. Aug 17, 2005 #3

    Your question is a touch confusing, and the equation is incorrect.

    The correct equations which both apply to your question are:

    [tex] D = \epsilon E [/tex] and
    [tex] D = \epsilon_0 E + P [/tex]

    In the first equation, the E is the actual E in the material but the epsilon
    is related to the material, not to free space. In the second equation, the
    epsilon is the epsilon of free space but the E is not the E which you would
    measure in the material.

    The object will have a different electric field inside it than the electric
    field which would have been present if the object were not there.
    The D vector does not change whether the mateiral is there or not.
     
  5. Aug 18, 2005 #4

    Meir Achuz

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    I assumed that Ray did leave the subscript 0 out of the epsilon.
    The E is the same in each of Antiphon's trwo equatiopns.
    The equations are just related by the connection between epsilon and chi, the electric susceptibillity.
     
  6. Aug 19, 2005 #5
    Hi,
    Thanks for the replys, it turned out i only needed to include the field that created the polarization. Help was appreciated.
    Thanks

    Ray
     
  7. Aug 19, 2005 #6
    Meir is right. It's the same E in both equations.
     
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