# Assignment 16: Biot-Savart Law

Due: 8:00am on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 Note: To understand how points are awarded, read your instructor's Grading Policy.

± Magnetic Field from Current Segments
Learning Goal: To apply the Biot-Savart law to find the magnetic field produced on the z axis from current elements in the xy plane. In this problem you are to find the magnetic field component along the z axis that results from various current elements in the xy plane (i.e., at ). The field at a point due to a current-carrying wire is given by the Biot-Savart law,

, where and , and the integral is done over the current-carrying wire. Evaluating the vector integral will typically involve the following steps:
 

Choose a convenient coordinate system--typically rectangular, say with coordinate axes , , and . Write in terms of the coordinate variables and directions ( , , etc.). To do this, you must find and . Again, finding the cross product can be done either o geometrically (by finding the direction of the cross product vector first, then checking for cancellations from any other portion of the wire, and then finding the magnitude or relevant component) or o algebraically (by using , etc.). Evaluate the integral for the component(s) of interest.

In this problem, you will focus on the second of these steps and find the integrand for several different current elements. You may use either of the two methods suggested for doing this. Part A

by

The field at the point shown in the figure due to a single current element is given

, where and . In this expression, what is the variable in terms of and/or ?

Making sense of subscripts Hint not displayed

Correct Part B Find , the z component of the magnetic field at the point from the current flowing over a short distance

located at the point Hint B.1 Cross product

. Hint not displayed

Express your answer in terms of , , , , and . Recall that a component is a scalar; do not enter any unit vectors. ANSWER: 0 = Correct Part C Find , the z component of the magnetic field at the point from the current flowing over a short distance

located at the point . Hint C.1 Determine the displacement from the current element Hint not displayed Hint C.2 Find the direction from the cross product Hint not displayed Express your answer in terms of , , , , and . Recall that a component is a scalar; do not enter any unit vectors.

ANSWER: = Part D Find , the z component of the magnetic field at the point from the current flowing over a short distance Correct

located at the point . Hint D.1 Determine the displacement from the current element Hint not displayed Hint D.2 Find the direction of the magnetic field vector Hint not displayed Express your answer in terms of , , , , and . Recall that a component is a scalar; do not enter any unit vectors. ANSWER: = Correct Part E Find , the z component of the magnetic field at the point P located at from the current flowing over a

short distance located at the point . Hint E.1 Determine the displacement from the current element Hint not displayed Hint E.2 Use the cross product to get the direction Hint not displayed Express your answer in terms of , , , , , and . Recall that a component is a scalar; do not enter any unit vectors. ANSWER: 0 = Correct

Part F Find , the z component of the magnetic field at the point P located at from the current flowing over a

short distance located at the point . Hint F.1 Determine the displacement from the current element Hint not displayed Hint F.2 Hint F.3 Determine which unit vector to use Hint not displayed Evaluate the cross product Hint not displayed Express your answer in terms of , , , , , and . Recall that a component is a scalar; do not enter any unit vectors. ANSWER: = Correct

Magnetic Field Generated by a Finite, Current-Carrying Wire
A steady current is flowing through a straight wire of finite length. Part A Find , the magnitude of the magnetic field generated by this wire at a point P located a distance from the center of the wire. Assume that at P the angle subtended from the midpoint of the wire to each end is as shown in the diagram

Hint A.1 Hint A.2

. Formula for the magnetic field of a current-carrying wire (Biot-Savart law) Hint not displayed Simplify the vector integral Hint not displayed

Hint A.3

Find Hint not displayed Find Hint not displayed , and .

Hint A.4

The magnetic field for an infinitely long wire can be obtained by setting magnetic field ,

in the previous expression. This gives a

which you probably derived in an earlier problem or in lecture using the Biot-Savart law. Part B Now find , the magnetic field generated by this wire at a point P located a distance from either end of the wire. Assume that at P the angle subtended from the end of the wire to the other end is as shown in the diagram

Hint B.1 Hint B.2

. How to approach the problem Hint not displayed Limiting value of Hint not displayed , and .

in the previous expression yields the magnetic field for a semi-infinite wire: ,

which is in fact just half the value of the magnetic field due to an infinitely long wire. This difference results from the point chosen being close to one of the ends of the wire. Such "end effects" for noninfinite wires always change the magneic field near that point.

Magnetic Field from Two Wires
Learning Goal: To understand how to use the principle of superposition in conjunction with the Biot-Savart (or Ampere's) law. From the Biot-Savart law, it can be calculated that the magnitude of the magnetic field due to a long straight wire is given by , where ( ) is the permeability constant, is the current in the wire, and is the distance from the wire to the location at which the magnitude of the magnetic field is being calculated. The same result can be obtained from Ampere's law as well.

The direction of vector can be found using the right-hand rule. (Take care in applying the right-hand rule. Many students mistakenly use their left hand while applying the right-hand rule since those who use their right hand for writing sometimes automatically use their "pencil-free hand" to determine the direction of .) In this problem, you will be asked to calculate the magnetic field due to a set of two wires with antiparallel currents as shown in

the diagram . Each of the wires carries a current of magnitude . The current in wire 1 is directed out of the page and that in wire 2 is directed into the page. The distance between the wires is . The x axis is perpendicular to the line connecting the wires and is equidistant from the wires. As you answer the questions posed here, try to look for a pattern in your answers. Part A Which of the vectors best represents the direction of the magnetic field created at point K (see the diagram in the problem introduction) by wire 1 alone?

Enter the number of the vector with the appropriate direction.

ANSWER: 3 Correct Part B Which of the vectors best represents the direction of the magnetic field created at point K by wire 2 alone?

Enter the number of the vector with the appropriate direction. ANSWER: 3 Correct Part C Which of these vectors best represents the direction of the net magnetic field created at point K by both wires?

Enter the number of the vector with the appropriate direction. ANSWER: 3 Correct Part D Find the magnitude of the magnetic field created at point K by wire 1. Express your answer in terms of , , and appropriate constants. ANSWER: = Correct Of course, Part E Find the magnitude of the net magnetic field created at point K by both wires. Express your answer in terms of , , and appropriate constants. ANSWER: = Correct because point K is equidistant from the wires.

This result is fairly obvious because of the symmetry of the problem: At point K, the two wires each contribute equally to the magnetic field. At points L and M you should also consider the symmetry of the problem. However, be careful! The vectors will add up in a more complex way. Part F Point L is located a distance from the midpoint between the two wires. Find the magnitude of the magnetic field created at point L by wire 1. Hint F.1 How to approach the problem Hint not displayed Express your answer in terms of , , and appropriate constants. ANSWER: = Correct Part G Point L is located a distance from the midpoint between the two wires. Find the magnitude of the net magnetic field created at point L by both wires. Hint G.1 How to approach the problem Hint not displayed Hint G.2 Hint G.3 Hint G.4 Hint G.5 Hint G.6 Hint G.7 Find the direction of the magnetic field due to wire 1 Hint not displayed Find the direction of the magnetic field due to wire 2 Hint not displayed Find the direction of the net magnetic field Hint not displayed Angle between magnetic field due to wire 1 and the x axis Hint not displayed Find the angle between magnetic field due to wire 1 and the x axis Hint not displayed Net magnetic field Hint not displayed Express your answer in terms of , , and appropriate constants. ANSWER: = Correct Part H Point M is located a distance from the midpoint between the two wires. Find the magnitude of the magnetic field created at point M by wire 1. Express your answer in terms of , , and appropriate constants. ANSWER: = Correct Part I

Find the magnitude of the net magnetic field created at point M by both wires. Hint I.1 How to approach the problem Hint not displayed Hint I.2 Hint I.3 Hint I.4 Hint I.5 Hint I.6 Find the direction of the magnetic field due to wire 1 Hint not displayed Find the direction of the net magnetic field Hint not displayed Angle between magnetic field due to wire 1 and the x axis Hint not displayed Find the angle between magnetic field due to wire 1 and the x axis Hint not displayed Net magnetic field Hint not displayed Express your answer in terms of , , and appropriate constants. ANSWER: = Correct Part J Finally, consider point X (not shown in the diagram) located on the x axis very far away in the positive x direction. Which of the vectors best represents the direction of the magnetic field created at point X by wire 1 alone?

Enter the number of the vector with the appropriate direction. ANSWER: 1 Correct Part K Which of the vectors best represents the direction of the magnetic field created at point X by wire 2 alone?

Enter the number of the vector with the appropriate direction. ANSWER: 5 Correct As you can see, at a very large distance, the individual magnetic fields (and the corresponding magnetic field lines) created by the wires are directed nearly opposite to each other, thus ensuring that the net magnetic field is very, very small even compared to the magnitudes of the individual magnetic fields, which are also relatively small at a large distance from the wires. Thus, at a large distance, the magnetic fields due to the two wires almost cancel each other out! (That is, if point X is very far from each wire, then the ratio is very close to zero.) Another way to think of this is as follows: If you are really far from the wires, then it's hard to tell them apart. It would seem as if the current were traveling up and down, almost along the same line, thereby appearing much the same as a single wire with almost no net current (because the up and down currents almost cancel each other), and therefore almost no magnetic field. Note that this only works for points very far from the wires; otherwsie it's easy to tell that the wires are separated and the currents don't cancel, since they are going up and down at different locations. It comes as no surprise then that one way to eliminate unnecessary magnetic fields in electric circuits is to twist together the wires carrying equal currents in opposite directions.

Magnetic Field at the Center of a Wire Loop
A piece of wire is bent to form a circle with radius . It has a steady current flowing through it in a counterclockwise direction

as seen from the top (looking in the negative direction). Part A What is Hint A.1 Hint A.2 , the z component of at the center (i.e., Specify the integrand Perform the integration ) of the loop?

Hint not displayed

Hint not displayed Express your answer in terms of , , and constants like and . ANSWER: = Correct

Magnetic Field due to Semicircular Wires

A loop of wire is in the shape of two concentric semicircles as shown. The inner circle has radius ; the outer circle has radius . A current flows clockwise through the outer wire and counterclockwise through the inner wire. Part A What is the magnitude, , of the magnetic field at the center of the semicircles? Hint A.1 What physical principle to use Hint not displayed Hint A.2 Hint A.3 Hint A.4 Compute the field due to the inner semicircle Hint not displayed Direction of the field due to the inner semicircle Hint not displayed Compute the field due to the straight wire segments Hint not displayed Express in terms of any or all of the following: , , , and . ANSWER: = Correct To see whether and makes sense, think of the scaling of different quantities. The size of the current element scales as the radius, whereas the power of in the denominator is 2 (and equals the radius also, in this case). So over all, you would expect the magnetic field to scale as 1/radius. Note that such an argument works only because the field due to each point is in the same direction, so you are doing a much simpler integral. Part B What is the direction of the magnetic field at the center of the semicircles? ANSWER: into the screen

out of the screen Correct

Force between an Infinitely Long Wire and a Square Loop
A square loop of wire with side length carries a current . The center of the loop is located a distance from an infinite wire carrying a current . The infinite wire and loop are in the same plane; two sides of the square loop are parallel to the wire and

two are perpendicular as shown. Part A What is the magnitude, , of the net force on the loop? Hint A.1 How to approach the problem Hint not displayed Hint A.2 Hint A.3 Hint A.4 Hint A.5 Determine the direction of force Hint not displayed Determine the magnitude of force Hint not displayed Find the force on the section of the loop closest to the wire Hint not displayed Find the magnetic field due to the wire Hint not displayed Express the force in terms of , , , , and . ANSWER: = Correct Part B The magnetic moment of a current loop is defined as the vector whose magnitude equals the area of the loop times the magnitude of the current flowing in it ( ), and whose direction is perpendicular to the plane in which the current flows. Find the magnitude, , of the force on the loop from Part A in terms of the magnitude of its magnetic moment. Express in terms of , , , , and . ANSWER: = Correct The direction of the net force would be reversed if the direction of the current in either the wire or the loop were reversed. The

general result is that "like currents" (i.e., currents in the same direction) attract each other (or, more correctly, cause the wires to attract each other), whereas oppositely directed currents repel. Here, since the like currents were closer to each other than the unlike ones, the net force was attractive. The corresponding situation for an electric dipole is shown in the figure below.

Problem 28.78

The wire shown in the figure Part A

is infinitely long and carries a current .

Calculate the magnitude of the magnetic field that this current produces at point P. Express your answer in terms of the variables , , and appropriate constants. ANSWER: = Correct Part B Find the direction of the magnetic field that this current produces at point P. ANSWER: out of the page into the page Correct

Problem 28.80
A circular loop has radius and carries current in a clockwise direction (the figure

). The center of the loop is a distance above a long, straight wire. Part A What is the magnitude of the current in the wire if the magnetic field at the center of the loop is zero? Express your answer in terms of the variables , , , and appropriate constants ( and ). ANSWER: = Correct Part B What is the direction of the current ? ANSWER: The current must point to the left. The current must point to the right. Correct