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What is the dielectric constant of water?

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somakc | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 30, 2012 at 2:53 PM via web

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What is the dielectric constant of water?

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

Posted November 30, 2012 at 5:49 PM (Answer #1)

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A dielectric is a material that will polarize itself when subjected to an external electric field.  The dielectric material itself is not a true conductor of electricity.  But the partial positive and partial negative charges within the dielectric will orient themselves with the applied electric field.  You may be thinking that water is a good conductor of electricity but remember that only water with ions present conducts electricity.  Deionized water (water with all ions removed) is actually a poor conductor of electricity.  The dielectric constant of pure water at 20 degress C is 80.1.

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