The dielectrics discussed in the preceding chapter show a linear relationship between polarization and applied electric field. In the present chapter we shall deal with dielectrics for which this relationship exhibits hysteresis effects. Since the dielectric behavior of these materials is in many respects analogous to the magnetic behavior of ferromagnetic materials, they are called ferroelectric solids, or simply ferroelectrics. A ferroelectric is spontaneously polarized, i.e., it is polarized in the absence of an external field; the direction of the spontaneous polarization may be altered under influence of an applied electric field. In general, the direction of spontaneous polarization is not the same throughout a macroscopic crystal. Rather, the crystal consists of a number of domains; within each domain the polarization has a specific direction, but this direction varies from one domain to another.
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