# torque in electric dipole placed in nonuniform electric field

In the uniform electric field case, we can know the rotational axis is at the position in the middle of positive charge and negative charge.

However, if the electric field is non-uniform, or simply to say the perpendicular force (perpendicular to the electric dipole moment) acting on the positive charge and the negative charge are not the same.

I guess the rotational axis is no longer in the middle of two charges, but can I obtain the "new rotational axis", or do we have such thing? So how can we obtain the electric dipole moment?

Thank you!

• the field being non uniform the dipole can experience a net force in the direction of larger field as well as a torque . – drvrm Jul 2 '16 at 15:03

• If you put a dipole of moment ${\bf p}$ in a uniform electric field ${\bf E}$, the torque on the dipole is ${\bf \tau} = {\bf p} \times {\bf E}$? – jim Aug 4 '16 at 18:58