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Thomas Lee Abshier, ND


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Electrical Permittivity
By: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND


Electrical permittivity: is symbolized by the Greek letter epsilon, å, and has units of Farads/meter = (coulombs/volt)/meter.  

§ The Farad is the unit of capacitance, and corresponds to the SI units of coulombs/volt.

§ Space acts like a capacitor, in that it holds opposite charges in two different regions when an electric field is imposed upon the space.

§ The magnitude of å, the electrical permittivity in (coulombs/volt)/meter, is related to how much charge separation will appear in a volume of space with a 1 Volt E field.  

§ In undisturbed space, the å of space is very low; thus indicating that the charges are tightly bound, and that little separation of charge can be produced by a 1 Volt field.  Hence, the capacitance per meter is low in undisturbed space.

§ But, in heavily polarized space, e.g. around a nucleus, the field of the nucleus has produced a large number of DPs that are separated out in that space.  Thus, a polarizing voltage impressed on such a space would have a higher capacitance, and effectively produce more coulombs of charge per volt.

§ As a result of having a higher capacitance, it will take longer for that space to polarize, for the DP charges to move their full distance, in response to an impressed voltage.

§ The ultimate effect of a space with a higher e and magnetic permeability is that light travels at a slower rate through that space.