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electric displacement

noun, Electricity
1.
the part of the electric field that is determined solely by free charges, without reference to the dielectric properties of the surrounding medium: measured in coulombs per square meter. Symbol: D.
Also called displacement.
Origin
1880-1885
1880-85
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for electric dis-placement

electric displacement

noun
1.
(physics) the electric flux density when an electric field exists in free space into which a dielectric is introduced D Also called electric flux density
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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electric dis-placement in Science
electric displacement  
See electric flux density.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for electric dis-placement

electric displacement

auxiliary electric field or electric vector that represents that aspect of an electric field associated solely with the presence of separated free electric charges, purposely excluding the contribution of any electric charges bound together in neutral atoms or molecules. If electric charge is transferred between two originally uncharged parallel metal plates, one becomes positively charged and the other negatively charged by the same amount, and an electric field exists between the plates. If a slab of insulating material is inserted between the charged plates, the bound electric charges comprising the internal structure of the insulation are displaced slightly, or polarized; bound negative charges (atomic electrons) shift a fraction of an atomic diameter toward the positive plate, and bound positive charges shift very slightly toward the negative. This shift of charge, or polarization, reduces the value of the electric field that was present before the insertion of the insulation. The actual average value of the electric field E, therefore, has a component P that depends on the bound polarization charges and a component D, electric displacement, that depends on the free separated charges on the plates. The relationship among the three vectors D, E, P in the metre-kilogram-second (mks) or SI system is: D = epsilon0E + P (epsilon0 is a constant, the permittivity of a vacuum). In the centimetre-gram-second (cgs) system the relationship is: D = E + 4piP.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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