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Physlets can be used in many different contexts. Poisson, for example, can be used in upper division E&M courses when discussing the solution of Poisson's equation for a collection of conductors and dielectrics. Some introductory texts have adopted a molecular approach to electrostatic phenomena and this Physlet can be effective used to demonstrate how fields are affected by a material medium. You can even show the appearance of bound charge at the surface of the dielectric if this simulation is run from the CD.
A capacitor consists of two conducting plates connected to a battery. Click-drag the dielectric block into the capacitor. Will the charge on the pates increase or decrease as the dielectric is inserted? Will the capacitance increase or decrease? What supporting evidence does the simulation provide?
Determine the dielectric constant of the block.
Problem by Wolfgang Christian
Script by Wolfgang Christian