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Homework Help: Where does energy come from - electric polarization

  1. Jun 1, 2012 #1
    Consider a dielectric between two electrodes. If you turn on power the atoms in the dielectric will be polarized, because they are in an electric field. You could also say this as the nucleus and electrons of each atom has a potential energy, which is released.
    My question is: Where does this potential energy come from? Certainly it wasn't there before we turned on the voltage...?
    Either way it must come from the creation of the field itself, where you separate + and - charge. So my next question is: Why does one not account for the extra potential needed to do this work in the equations for electrics in matter?
  2. jcsd
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