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Is vacuum a Dielectric?

Is vacuum a Dielectric. If so how? please explain physically and mathematically


Vacuum cannot be considered as a dieletric.

A dielectric is defined as an insulating material which can be polarized by applying electric field. When a dielectric is placed in an electric field, electric charges do not flow through the material, but only slightly shift from their average equilibrium positions causing dielectric polarization.

Nothing like that will happen in the case of vacuum.

But in theory, if necessary, vacuum can be considered as a dielectric medium of dielectric constant unity.

Why water has more dielectric constant than mica?

Ashis asks:

“Why water has more dielectric constant  than
mica. Please explain”

Effect of Dielectric on Coulomb force

How does the force between two charges change when a dielectric medium is kept in between?
The introduction of a dielectric medium between two charges will decrease the force between them.

Electric Field due to Polarisation

Sreeram asks:

“do charges produced due to polarization in a dielectric produce electric field outside?”


When a dielectric is kept in an electric field, it is polarized. The polarized ends are just like the two plates of a parallel plate capacitor. The electric field is confined between the two surfaces (except for some edge effect). So, in a macroscopic point of view, the answer is no.

(However, I agree that there is scope for disagreement and debate when we think and look at the microscopic level. Users of the site are requested to post comments)

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