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Topic 6 Magnetic Fields

Topic 6 Magnetic Fields

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Published by Smk Abdul Rahim Dua
Physics electromagnetic topic, electric and eletronic, physics for higher learning, electromagnietic induction, direct current, magnetic flux, circuit analysis
Physics electromagnetic topic, electric and eletronic, physics for higher learning, electromagnietic induction, direct current, magnetic flux, circuit analysis

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Published by: Smk Abdul Rahim Dua on Nov 20, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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In Topic 1, we learned that two electric charges at rest exert electrostatic forces on each other according to Coulomb’s law. This Coulombic force depends on the value of the charges and also the distance between them. When the charges are in motion, there are magnetic forces between the moving charges in addition to the electric forces between them. The magnetic force depends on the velocity,
, of the charge, and the charge,
6.1.1 Bar Magnets
Surrounding any magnet is a magnetic field. This magnetic field represents the effect of the magnet on its surroundings.
By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
Describe magnetic fields around permanent magnets and between like and unlike poles.
Demonstrate the concept of magnetic fields by sprinkling iron filings to observe the imaginary magnetic field lines around magnets;
Describe the magnetic field around a current-carrying conductor, loop of conductor and solenoid;
Calculate the magnitude and direction of the magnetic force on a moving charge in a magnetic field and on a current-carrying conductor
Define and apply Biot-Savart’s Law and Ampere’s Law; and
Explain in simple terms the origin of magnetism in materials.
The presence of a magnetic field around a bar magnet can be shown by sprinkling iron filings around the magnet. First, put a bar magnet on a sheet of white paper. Then, sprinkle some iron filings around the magnet. You will observe that the iron filings arrange themselves along lines that connect the two magnetic poles. Each long, thin iron filing becomes a small magnet by induction, and aligns itself along what is called the magnetic field line. The magnetic field lines form closed loops that leave the N-pole of the bar magnet and enter the S-pole as shown in Figure. 6.1.
Figure 6.1:
 Magnetic field lines outside a bar magnets are closed loops leaving the N-pole of the  bar magnet and entering the S-pole.
A simulation of this can be found here: http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/electromag/java/magneticlines/index.html Therefore, a magnetic field can be visualised as magnetic lines of force, which are actually imaginary lines. These lines of force never intersect each other. The lines form continuous closed loops, originating from the N-pole and terminating at the S-pole. The tangent at any point on the on the loop is the direction of the magnetic field at that point. The lines are parallel, being from S-pole to N-pole inside the  bar magnet. In addition, the field is stronger in regions where the field lines are closer and weaker when the they are far further apart. When we place two magnets near each other we find that:
Unlike magnetic poles attract each other, and like magnetic poles repel each other
. How would the magnetic field lines look like when two poles are placed opposite one another? A simulation of this situation can be found here: http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/electromag/java/magneticlines2/index.html
6.1.2 Current-carrying wire
The magnetic field around a current-carrying wire can easily be shown by placing a wire conductor vertically through a horizontal piece of white cardboard, and then sprinkling iron filings on the cardboard. When a current is applied to the conductor, tap the cardboard. You will notice that the iron filings form a pattern of concentric circles around the conductor as shown in Fig. 6.2
Figure 6.2:
The magnetic field lines around a long, straight current carrying conductor
But what produces this magnetic field in the first place? We must thank a Danish school teacher named Hans Christian Oersted for providing us with the answer! Oersted discovered that it was the electric current that created the magnetic field. We can determine the direction of the field by applying the right hand grip rule. Grasp the wire with your right hand such that your thumb points in the direction of the current. The direction of the magnetic field generated by the current is the same as the direction of the fingers. Apart from magnitude, how is Coulombic force different from magnetic force?

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