ps3soln - ELEC 262 Problem Set 3 solutions 1(a We saw in...

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ELEC 262 - Problem Set 3 solutions 1(a) We saw in class that the dielectric constant is the proportionality constant that tells how effectively a medium can screen (reduce) an externally applied electric field. The electrons in the glass can redistribute themselves (in response to an applied field) so as to screen out the applied field to some degree, if the oscillations of the field are slow enough. As a result, the effective field experienced by an electron inside the glass is smaller than the externally applied field. Because the microwave frequency of the field is rather slow, the molecules can keep up, and screen the field effectively. (b) We also saw in class that the dielectric function of all materials shows a generally decreasing trend with increasing frequency. This is because, as the frequency of the oscillations of the applied field goes up, the molecules are less able to keep up. They are therefore less able to screen the field. For this reason, glass (and everything else) has a smaller dielectric at optical frequencies than it does at microwave frequencies. The field experienced by an electron inside the glass is still smaller than the externally applied field, but not by as big a factor.
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ps3soln - ELEC 262 Problem Set 3 solutions 1(a We saw in...

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