 Dielectrics

Dielectrics

06/27/16

“Is there a way to increase the capacitance of a capacitor without actually modifying the capacitor itself?

Scientists and Engineers are very practically minded people,so when working with electronics, they would like to make the components as efficient as possible. So when applying this mentality ro capacitors, one way to accomplish this is by increasing the capacitance of the capacitors themselves. So let’s think about how a capacitor works in the first place. If you remember, what makes such components function is that two conducting plates are placed parallel in between a non-conducting material. Let’s call this material a dielectric. When placed in between the two charged plates, this dielectric will react to the net charge on each plate and become polarized. As a consequence, some of the negative charge of the dielectric will be oriented towards the positive plated and vice versa for the negative plate. This causes some of the charge to cancel out, which reduces the effective voltage, which increases the space for extra charge which allows the capacitor to store more charge! We can symbolically relate the old and new capacitance with the equation C=kc, where the capital C represents the new capacitance, k representing the dielectric constant (basically the quantity of the material to store energy in an electric field) and c representing the old capacitance. As one can see, dielectrics are very practical devices that can have many potential uses