March 28, 2017

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If the magnitude of the electric field in air exceeds roughly 3 106 N/C, the air breaks down and a spark forms. For a two-disk capacitor of radius 49 cm with a gap of 1 mm, what is the maximum charge (plus and minus) that can be placed on the disks without a spark forming (which would permit charge to flow from one disk to the other)? The constant å0 = 8.85 10-12 C2/(N·m2).

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