This paper deals theoretically with some aspects of the influence of a non-homogeneous electric field on the laminar convective motion and heat transfer in paraelectric gas. i.e. a gas consisting of molecules having a permanent electric dipole moment. It is found that, due to the variation of the dielectric susceptibility with temperature, the electric field produces an electrical buoyancy force. Convective velocities and heat transfer in the gas near a heated surface are found to be increased or decreased according as the electrical buoyancy force acts with or in opposition to the net force of the existing pressure gradient and gravitational buoyancy force.
The equations of motion for a paraelectric gas in the presence of an electric field are derived in a simplified form by the use of approximations similar to those of Boussinesq (1903). An exact solution of these equations is presented for the problem of laminar convection flow, under a pressure gradient, between vertical concentric cylinders which are maintained at different electrostatic potentials and whose wall temperatures decrease uniformly with increasing height. Here the electric field induces a heated down-flow to be superimposed on the existing cooled up-flow (or heated down-flow).
Boundary-layer equations are also derived for the laminar convective motion due to a heated charged sphere. These equations are solved by an approximate method due to Squire (1938).