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Basics of Electromagnetism

by Ron Kurtus (revised 17 December 2012) Electromagnetism has two meanings, depending on whether viewed at the subatomic level or on an everyday scale !t the subatomic level, electromagnetism is de"ined as the "orce between electrically charged particles #t is considered one o" the "undamental interactions o" matter $scillating electrical charges result in electromagnetic waves $n a larger scale, electromagnetism is the creation o" a magnetic "ield "rom the movement o" electrical charges #t usually concerns the use o" electric current to ma%e electromagnets, which is called electrodynamics !nother e""ect is electromagnetic induction, which is using an electromagnet or changing magnetic "ield to induce an electric current

Electromagnetism at the subatomic level


!t the subatomic level, electromagnetism is related to the electromagnetic "orce that causes the attraction and repulsion o" electrically charged particles #t is considered one o" the "undamental "orces in nature, that also includes gravitational and nuclear "orces &hen electrically charged particles, such as electrons, are put into motion, they create a magnetic "ield &hen these particles are made to oscillate, they create electromagnetic radiation 'his can include radio waves, visible light, or ()rays, depending on the "re*uency o" the oscillation

Electrodynamics
+lectrodynamics is creating a magnetic "ield "rom an electric current &hen electricity passed through a wire, a magnetic "ield is created around the wire ,ooping the wire increases the magnetic "ield !dding an iron core greatly increases the e""ect and creates an electromagnet -ou can also create an electromagnet without the iron core 'hat is usually called a solenoid

Magnetic field created from flowing electrons


&hen D. electricity is passed through a wire, a magnetic "ield rotates around the wire in a speci"ic direction

/agnetic "ield rotating around wire

Right hand rule


'o "ind the direction the magnetic "ield is going, you can use the 0right)hand rule0 to determine it #" you ta%e your right hand and wrap it around the wire, with your thumb pointing in the direction o" the electrical current (positive to negative), then your "ingers are pointing in the direction o" the magnetic "ield around the wire 'ry it with the picture above -ou can also see the direction o" the magnetic "ield by placing a compass near the wire

Wire in a coil
&rapping the wire in a coil concentrates and increases the magnetic "ield, because the additive e""ect o" each turn o" the wire

.oiled wire increases magnetic "ield ! coil o" wire used to create a magnetic "ield is called a solenoid

Electromagnet

&rapping the wire around an iron core greatly increases the magnetic "ield #" you put a nail in the coil in the drawing above, it would result in an electromagnet with the a north see%ing pole on the 010 side

Electromagnetic induction
+lectromagnetic induction is creating an electric current "rom a changing magnetic "ield &hen a wire moves through a magnetic "ield, the electromagnetic e""ect ta%es place, creating an electric current through the wire

.urrent created in wire moving through magnetic "ield

,i%ewise, when a changing magnetic "ield a""ects a metal wire, the current is changed $ne application is to change the electrical voltage, through the use o" a trans"ormer

Summary
!t the subatomic level, electromagnetism is de"ined as the "orce between electrically charged particles #t is considered one o" the "undamental interactions o" matter $scillating electrical charges result in electromagnetic waves $n a larger scale, electromagnetism usually concerns the use o" electric current to ma%e electromagnets 'his is o"ten called electrodynamics and is related to electromagnetic induction, which is using an electromagnet or changing magnetic "ield to induce an electric current