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Physics homework problem - design a capacitor

  1. May 13, 2014 #1
    Physics homework problem -- design a capacitor

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    An engineer needs to design a capacitor with a capacitance of 1*10-6F using a material with a dielectric constant 260. If the dielectric strength of the material is 8*106 N/C, and the maximum voltage that the capacitor is allowed to handle is 160 volts, what must be the area of the plates?

    2. Relevant equations
    Q=CV, C=A/(4πkd)

    3. The attempt at a solution

    A=4πkdC; everything is known except the distance between plates

    V=Ed, d=V/E; V is given

    E=kq/r2, r=d



    I got A = .113m2 but I'm not sure If I'm doing it right or not. Could some check it for me please. I did not use the dielectric constant and dielectric strength values.

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Then you are doing it wrong.

    What is important about the maximum voltage?
    It is the voltage, above which, the capacitor does something special...
  4. May 13, 2014 #3
    Dielectric strength can also be written as[itex]\frac{V}{m}[/itex], and Max Voltage on a capacitor is dielectric strength * distance between the plates.

    Hope this helps.
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