Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



For years the expression for the force per unit volume which arises in a liquid dielectric as a result of an electric field has been a source of discussion and controversy. Several different expressions for this volume force occur in the literature and, of these, two seem to be most prominent. Each of the expressions has many supporters. Consequently, there has been much theoretical and some experimental work concerning volume forces in a liquid dielectric. Although the most recent writers apparently have dispelled much of the mystery which has long shrouded this topic, some questions remain unanswered. Moreover, since history of the topic reveals that some controversies “apparently” have been settled several times, anyone acquainted with the history necessarily is skeptical regarding general claims made by an author that an issue is settled. The topic will remain open for discussion until there is a long period of widespread acceptance of a single hypothesis or point of view. Therefore, the author of this paper has deemed it a worth-while project to construct, from all the pertinent literature available, a history of the developments and recurring controversies concerning this topic along with a large number of references to original works. An interested person can gain from this history an appreciation of the problem and subtleties encountered in the search for an acceptable point of view. The history also could serve as a starting point for a study of the topic. If it were possible, it would be desirable to end the controversies which exist between the two expressions for the volume force by devising an experiment which could establish eh validity of one expression and disprove the other. The possibility of accomplishing this is discussed in another section of this paper.

Library of Congress Subject Headings



Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University