Dielectrics and Electrostatics Group

Dedicated to multi-disciplinary research and dissemination for scientific and engineering communities, both in academia and industry, in the UK and internationally.

The group was formed in 2015 from the merger of two complementary groups, the Dielectrics Group and the Electrostatics Group.  The Electrostatics Group (then the Static Electrification Group) was founded in 1967 to further interest in all aspects of static electricity: its generation, storage and dissipation, measurements, uses and hazards, as well as means of controlling it and has run the successful International Conference on Electrostatics every four years since then.  The Dielectrics Group was founded in from the incorporation of the Dielectrics Society (formerly the Dielectrics Discussion Group founded in 1968) into the Institute of Physics on 1 October 2001, covering dielectrics research, application, measurement and interpretation in a wide range of non-metallic solids, liquids and gases, including biological and pharmaceutical systems.

Electrostatics is at the same time both a well-defined subject and a very ill defined area of research and technology. This is mainly due multi-disciplinary nature of the subject. Electrostatics is everywhere, from the macro scale in the atmosphere to the nanoscale in the interactions between molecules and atoms.  Dielectrics are often thought of crudely as non-conductors or “insulators”. However a more precise definition is given by Von Hippel “Dielectrics... are not a narrow class of so-called insulators, but the broad expanse of nonmetals considered from the standpoint of their interaction with electric, magnetic, of electromagnetic fields.”  

The group as a whole is therefore interested in the complete spectrum of electrodynamics and electrostatic phenomena at the heart of physics.  The community is provided for via several one day conferences and meetings a year in addition to major conferences and maintains a newsfeed/letter.  



Chair's report: merger of Dielectrics and Electrostatics groups

29 April 2015

With innovation firmly in mind, I would also like to bring to your attention the merger of the Electrostatics Group and the Dielectrics Group of the Institute of Physics

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