Cover of Fundamentals of Applied Electrostatics

Fundamentals of Applied Electrostatics

Joseph M. Crowley

(1999) 272 pages

The most widely used textbook on electrostatics available today. Based on the author's course at the University of Illinois. Detailed explanations of concepts, applications to numerous practical applications, problem sets, and a survey of dozens of application areas ranging from electronics to medicine. Every principle and technique is illustrated by an example drawn from current practice in commercial or laboratory work.

Explains, in engineering rather than mathematical terms, the application of electrostatic principles for designing practical devices. Each part concentrates on a single electrostatic concept with application to a particular device.

This book, now in its third printing, is organized by the scale of electrostatic effect. Part One deals with electrostatic fields in a uniform linear medium. Part Two introduces particles in the field. Part Three allows for a complex continuum. Part Four describes interactions between electrostatic devices and external circuits using terminal relations.


Fundamental concepts

Voltage and electric field; charge and electric displacement; material properties (capacitance and permittivity); charge conservation and current; resistance and conductivity

Electric fields with known voltages

Two flat layers (high voltage bushing design); coaxial cylinders (voltage rating of coaxial cables); spherical geometry (maximum charge on ink drop printer); cylinders and spheres in external fields (St. Elmo's fire; bubble breakdown in insulating oils)

Fields caused by charges

Surface (xerographic development); space charge (grain elevator explosions); moving charge (radiation detectors)

Particle motion in known electric fields

Time-dependent fields (reflex klystrons); space-dependent fields (electron beam waist); drag forces (ink jet printers); mobility (corona charging of particles).

Unipolar space-charge motion

mobility and space charge (charges in a tank); mobility, space charge, and external fields (xerographic corotrons); inertial motion in space-charge fields (ion rockets)

Charged particle conservation

Basic laws (ionization gauge); charge decay (decay of ionospheric disturbance); charge convection and characteristics (static neutralizers); diffusion (semiconductor junction potential)

Conduction and breakdown

When is conduction ohmic? (gas insulation); single species (radiation counters); multiple species (ion bombardment).


Artificial linear dielectrics; nonlinear (dielectric saturation); permanent polarization (electret microphones); piezo-and pyroelectricity (infrared television); time-varying fields (microwave ovens)

Continuum force densities

Force densities (ion drag pumps); polarization forces (spacecraft fuel management); Maxwell stress tensor (electric field meter)

Resistive circuit elements

Nonlinear resistors (varistor surge arrestors); resistors with variable geometry (field effect transistors); resistors with variable material properties (thermistor runaway).

Capacitive circuit elements

Nonlinear capacitors (varactor frequency multipliers); electromechanical current generators (rotating generation); capacitors with variable dielectrics (ferroelectric pulse generators); multiple terminals and mutual capacitance (droplet charging in ink jet printers)

Forces on lumped elements

Linear forces (electrostatic loudspeakers); torque calculation (electrostatic display signs); forces from coenergy (ferroelectric forces); forces in multiple terminal devices (electrostatic motors)