0
$\begingroup$

I am studying Capacitance for my Physics class. We have been working with parallel-plate capacitors, which I understand perfectly. However, I’ve seen some exercises with spherical and cylindrical capacitors. In them, I have learned to calculate the capacitance by simply applying the definition, but I am having trouble deriving the maximum potential difference and maximum potential energy that can be present before dielectric breakdown. Can you please explain this to me? I really want to understand these concepts, as I do for the parallel-plate capacitor.

All help greatly appreciated!

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

At which surface is the electric field (potential gradient) the largest?

enter image description here

That is where electrical breakdown is most likely to happen.

From that you can find the potential at that surface and hence the required potential difference.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ It’s at the surface of the inner sphere, right? So then I can use the definition of capacitance (having calculated the maximum charge from the field) to get the maximum potential? $\endgroup$ – Bee Oct 29 '17 at 20:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.