THE EFFECT OF AN ELECTRIC FIELD ON THE CRITICAL OPALESCENCE
CORNELL UNIV ITHACA NY
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Concentration fluctuations in liquid mixtures, which may be observed by means of light scattering, include also fluctuations of the dielectric constant. If an electric field is applied, the fluctuations of the dielectric constant cause changes of the electric energy density, which is connected with the dielectric constant and the field strength. In the expression for the free energy of a binary liquid system an additional term due to the electric energy has to be added to the term representing the work involved in concentration changes. The work necessary to create a given amplitude of concentration fluctuations is usually rather big, and it is only in the vicinity of the critical point that it becomes small enough to become comparable to the electric work involved. In calculating the possible effect of an electric field on the concentration fluctuations one has to consider, that both the dielectric constant and the field strength are functions of the geometrical distribution of the concentration fluctuations.
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