What Is Electric Susceptibility?

Are you curious to know what is electric susceptibility? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about electric susceptibility in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is electric susceptibility?

Electric susceptibility is a fundamental concept in the realm of electromagnetism and material science. It plays a crucial role in explaining how materials respond to electric fields and is a cornerstone of our understanding of dielectric behavior. In this blog, we will delve into the meaning of electric susceptibility, its significance in the context of dielectric materials, and its applications in various scientific and technological fields.

What Is Electric Susceptibility?

Electric susceptibility (χ) is a property of materials that characterizes their ability to become polarized when subjected to an electric field. In simpler terms, it measures how easily a material can be electrically polarized or how it responds to an applied electric field. Electric susceptibility is a dimensionless quantity and is typically expressed as a scalar value.

Mathematically, it is defined as:

χ = P / ε₀E


  • χ is the electric susceptibility
  • P is the polarization of the material
  • ε₀ is the vacuum permittivity (a fundamental constant)
  • E is the electric field strength

In essence, electric susceptibility quantifies how the presence of an electric field influences the polarization of a material. When a material is polarized, its electric dipoles (positive and negative charges separated within the material) align in response to the electric field, creating a net dipole moment.

Significance In Dielectric Materials

Electric susceptibility is particularly important in the study of dielectric materials. Dielectrics are non-conductive materials that are often used in electrical capacitors and insulators. When an electric field is applied to a dielectric material, its electric dipoles become oriented along the field lines, reducing the overall electric field within the material. This phenomenon is known as polarization, and it significantly affects the material’s ability to store electrical energy.

The Primary Significance Of Electric Susceptibility In Dielectrics Includes:

  1. Capacitance: Electric susceptibility influences the capacitance of a capacitor. A material with a higher susceptibility can store more electrical charge and, consequently, has a higher capacitance.
  2. Dielectric Constant: The dielectric constant (ε_r) of a material, which is directly related to its susceptibility, measures the reduction in the electric field within the material. A high dielectric constant indicates a stronger ability to reduce the field.
  3. Insulation: In electrical insulation, materials with lower electric susceptibility are preferred, as they are less likely to permit the flow of electric current. Dielectrics with high susceptibility are used in capacitors for energy storage.

Applications In Various Fields

Electric susceptibility finds applications in numerous scientific and technological fields:

  1. Electronics: Understanding susceptibility is crucial in designing electronic components such as capacitors and transistors.
  2. Materials Science: It aids in the development of dielectric materials with specific electrical properties for various applications.
  3. Telecommunications: Dielectrics with controlled susceptibility are used in the development of high-frequency components, like microwave waveguides and antennas.
  4. Medicine: It is used in medical devices and equipment that utilize dielectric materials, such as MRI machines.
  5. Physics and Engineering Research: Electric susceptibility is a key parameter in research involving the interaction of electric fields with materials.


Electric susceptibility is an indispensable concept in the study of dielectric materials and their behavior in the presence of electric fields. It quantifies how readily a material can be polarized and its impact on capacitance and electrical energy storage. A comprehensive understanding of electric susceptibility is vital for advancements in electronics, telecommunications, and materials science, contributing to the development of new technologies and innovative applications.


What Is Meant By Electric Susceptibility?

electric susceptibility, quantitative measure of the extent to which an electric field applied to a dielectric material causes polarization, the slight displacement of positive and negative charge within the material.

What Is Electric Susceptibility Class 12?

Electric susceptibility is the quantitative measure of extent to which electric field applied to dielectric material causes polarization.

What Is The Use Of Electric Susceptibility?

The electric susceptibility determines the electric permittivity of the material and thus influences many other phenomena in that medium, from the capacitance of capacitors to the speed of light.

What Is Permittivity And Susceptibility?

According to Wikipedia, permittivity is the ability to resist external electric field. This means a substance with high permittivity requires high external electric field to polarize. On the other hand, susceptibility is defined as the ability to polarize.

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