The Dielectrics Group is dedicated to the international development and dissemination of dielectrics research, application, measurement and interpretation in a wide range of non-metallic solids, liquids and gases; including biological and pharmaceutical systems.
The breadth of the subject is significant and the Group sustains the historical cross-disciplinary focus of the subject with emphasis on meeting the dissemination and discussion needs of both the UK and international scientific and engineering communities.
The Dielectrics Group was founded from the incorporation of the Dielectrics Society into the Institute of Physics on 1 October 2001.
The word dielectric come from “di-“ (greek: across; in this sense to cut across or block) and “electric” (displaying properties of electronic conduction), thus dielectrics are often thought of crudely as non-conductors or “insulators”. However a more precise definition is given by Von Hippel (a widely respected “dielectrician”); “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. Thus we are concerned with gases as well as with liquids and solids, and with the storage of electric and magnetic energy as well as its dissipation.”
Polarisation and the dynamics of electric charges are at the heart of dielectrics. These are often described in terms of macroscopic properties such as permittivity, dielectric loss and breakdown strength.
The dielectrics group facilitates the interactions of the community of active dielectrics through conferences and meetings, technical and feature articles, newsletters, prizes, archives and links.
The Dielectrics Group hosts a major conference biennially, this year Dielectrics 2011 will be held at the University of Kent, details and registration can be found on the conference website.