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Question
Find the maximum potential difference between two parallel conducting plates separated by 0.500 cm of air, given the maximum sustainable electric field strength in air to be $3.0 \times 10^6 \textrm{ V/m}$
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Final Answer

$15 \textrm{ kV}$

Solution Video

OpenStax College Physics Solution, Chapter 19, Problem 21 (Problems & Exercises) (0:38)

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Video Transcript
This is College Physics Answers with Shaun Dychko. The electric field between two large conducting parallel plates is equal to the potential difference between them divided by the separation between them and we can solve for V by multiplying both sides by d. So, the voltage is gonna be the electric field times d. So, that’s 3.0 times ten to the six volts per meter which Is the maximum electric field that we can have in air before sparks start to fly through the air multiplied by the 0.500 centimetres which is times ten to the minus two meters and that gives 15 kilo-volts.