Volume 82, Number 1, April 2008
Article Number 16003
Number of page(s) 6
Section Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties
Published online 19 March 2008
EPL, 82 (2008) 16003
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/82/16003

Cavity field in liquid dielectrics

D. R. Martin and D. V. Matyushov

Center for Biological Physics, Arizona State University - PO Box 871604, Tempe, AZ 85287-1604, USA

received 14 November 2007; accepted in final form 15 February 2008; published April 2008
published online 19 March 2008

We present the results of an analytical model and simulations of the field inside a cavity in a uniformly polarized dipolar liquid. The analytical microscopic theory shows that Maxwell's equations of continuum electrostatics are realized through a singularity in the microscopic response function representing a non-decaying longitudinal polarization wave. The appearance of this solution depends on the order of continuum and thermodynamic limits taken in the microscopic equations. Fields in microscopic cavities are much different from macroscopic predictions approaching with increasing cavity size a new continuum expression derived from the microscopic equations. Numerical Monte Carlo simulations never reach the standard continuum limit and instead converge to a new continuum solution.

61.25.Em - Molecular liquids.
77.22.-d - Dielectric properties of solids and liquids.
78.20.-e - Optical properties of bulk materials and thin films.

© EPLA 2008