Interaction energy of a dielectric in an electrostatic field

by Victor Gilinsky, D. Holliday

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A discussion and clarification of a paradox in the calculation of the energy of a dielectric in an electrostatic field. A straightforward computation of the interaction field energy of a dielectric in a uniform external electrostatic field appears to yield a result different from that given by a general theorem. It is shown, however, that the discrepancy can be resolved by considering the uniform field of infinite extent to be the limit of a field of finite extent.

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