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For more than 25 years, various techniques have been introduced for the nondestructive measurement of the space charge distribution in solid dielectrics. All these techniques can be classified into a set of three methods: (i) the thermal method, (ii) the pressure-wave-propagation method and (iii) the electro-acoustic method. Despite their apparent differences they are based on the same physical idea: the perturbation of the equilibrium between electrostatic and elastic forces in the material induces a response, either electrical or mechanical, which can be analyzed. In this paper, we demonstrate that the information on the material contained in the response is identical whatever the method used. As a consequence the differences between methods stand only in the nature of the perturbation and its physical properties.