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Air will break down as a dielectric when subjected to applied fields in excess of 3 * 10^6 N/C. a parallel plate capacitor using air as a dielectric has a capacitance of 1.0nF and a separation b/t plates of 1.0micrometer. how much energy U was stored in this capacitor at the moment air breaks down?

  • physics -

    Stored energy = (1/2) C V^2

    For V, use the breakdown field strength, in N/C (which is the same as Volts/meter). They have already given you the value of that number.
    For C, use 10^-9 Farads.

    Turn the crank and out will pop the answer.

    Isn't physics fun?

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