Difference Between Di-Electric Constant And Polarity

Di-Electric constant and polarity are two terms used in the physics branch of science. The topics are diverse though both terms are interconnected somehow.


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But there are many differences between them. This article mentions the main differences, definitions, and comparisons between the two terms.

Key Takeaways

  1. The dielectric constant measures a material’s ability to store electrical energy in an electric field, which is important in capacitor design.
  2. Polarity refers to the separation of electric charges in a molecule, resulting from differences in electronegativity between atoms.
  3. Dielectric constant and polarity are related, as polar molecules often have higher dielectric constants due to their ability to align in an electric field.

Di-Electric Constant vs Polarity

The difference between the dielectric constant and polarity is that the dielectric constant is a ratio while polarity is a binary attribute. The dielectric constant is the property of a material to store or hold electric potential energy under an electric field. While on the other hand, polarity is the directional flow of electrons from one pole to another.

Di Electric Constant vs Polarity

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The dielectric constant is the ratio of a material’s electric permeability and a vacuum’s electric permeability. It is denoted as εr(ω), and sometimes it is denoted as κ.

It explains how the electric field impacts the dielectric environment. And is measured by specialized devices directly.

Polarity is the quality of an object with opposite powers or charges flowing in opposite directions. There are two poles- negative and positive.

And polarity is the directional flow of electrons, so electrons can have a negative or positive polarity. A magnet, an electric field, and a magnetic field all have a polarity.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDi-Electric ConstantPolarity
DefinitionThe dielectric constant is the property or ability of a material to store or hold electric potential energy. Polarity is the direction of current flow in a circuit, representing the electric potential at the ends of the circuit.
Determined byIt is determined by dividing the absolute permittivity to the vacuum permittivity.It is experimentally determined by using carbon or metallic electrode.
Denoted byIt is denoted by K.It is denoted by delta.
Measured byIt is measured via devices like BI-870.It is measured via devices like a dual-trace oscilloscope.
DimensionDielectric constant is dimensionless.While Polarity is not dimensionless.

What is Di-Electric Constant?

The dielectric constant is also known as relative permittivity. It is the ratio of absolute permittivity to that of vacuum permittivity.

The dielectric constant is denoted by K. The formula is written as K = E/Eo, where Eo is dielectric, and E is the net field.

The larger the dielectric constant value, the more charge can be stored. Also, E is always less than or equal to Eo.

A dielectric is an insulating material, so the dielectric constant measures the material’s ability to hold or store electric energy in an electric field of an insulator.

Though a capacitor can also measure the dielectric constant, it is the ratio of capacitance using material as a dielectric of a capacitor to the vacuum as the dielectric of a capacitor.

The dielectric constant is dimensionless and is a complex quantity. It is an important factor in the designing of capacitors.

To increase the capacitance of a capacitor, the dielectric constant or relative permittivity is increased.

This is because the magnitude of the magnetic field decreases within the volume of the dielectric when a material with high permittivity is placed in an electric field.

The dielectric materials are insulators, but they can efficiently support the electrostatic field. These days it is easy to measure the dielectric constant through specialized devices like BI-870.

What is Polarity?

Polarity is a term that is used widely in electricity and magnetism. Polarity determines the direction of the flow of electrons.

It is the quality of an object with opposite powers exhibiting contrasted powers in opposite directions.

Since there are two positive and negative poles, there can be a positive or negative polarity.

The number of electrons present in the object determines the electrical polarity of the object.

When we provide a constant electrical potential between two different plates or objects, one of them will have low electrons as compared to the other.

And this object with low electrons will have a positive polarity. In contrast, the other object with more electrons will have a negative polarity.

The polarity will produce an electric current when these two objects connect with a conductive bond as the electrons flow from negative to positive.

The polarity of an object can be determined by using a carbon or metallic electrode.

In electricity, the polarity of the DC electric circuits does not change, while the polarity of AC electric circuits can change based on the frequency of the electricity.

The devices which are used to measure the polarity are analog voltmeters, test lights, etc. are used. And to test polarity in an AC system, a dual-trace oscilloscope is used.

Main Differences Between Di-Electric Constant And Polarity

  1. The dielectric constant is the ability or property of a material to hold an electrical charge, while, Polarity is the directional flow of electrons.
  2. The dielectric materials are insulators, i.e. they are poor conductors of electric currents, while the polarity can create an electric current. 
  3. Di-electric constant has no unit or dimension. While polarization has unit and dimension.
  4. The dielectric constant is measured directly by specialized devices like BI-870. And to measure polarity device like a dual-trace oscilloscope is used.
  5. The dielectric constant is the ratio of the dielectric permeability of the medium to that of the dielectric permeability in a vacuum. While polarity is determined by experimentally using carbon or metallic electrode.
  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/B:NALA.0000015791.00288.43
  2. https://journals.aps.org/pr/abstract/10.1103/PhysRev.129.62

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