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How can two current-carrying wires

exert forces of interaction even if
there is no direct physical contact
between them?

One answer proposed in the 19th

century is due to the nature of the
force itself that is an action-at-adistance force.


In terms of the concept of field, bodies interact by

setting up their own field so that their fields
interact, resulting in a force of interaction between
them in the absence of direct physical contact.

This alternative view turned out to be a more

accurate way to describe electric and magnetic
interactions.An electric charge sets up an electric
field and another charge will interact with it
because of its own field.In the same manner, any
source of magnetic field will interact with another
source of magnetic field.

Field Lines/Lines of Force

Field lines is introduced by Faraday that uses

the concept of lines of force present in the
vicinity of the wires.

These pattern oflines, sometimes referred to

as electricfield lines, point in the direction
that a positive test charge would accelerate if
placed upon theline. As such, thelinesare
directed away from positively charged source
charges and toward negatively charged
source charges.

Field Lines/Lines of Force

Electric Field vs. Magnetic Field

Electric field is defined as theelectric

forceper unit charge. The direction of the
field is taken to be the direction of the force it
would exert on a positive test charge. The
electric field is radially outward from a
positive charge and radially in toward a
negative point charge.

An electric field emanates from a positive

charge and terminates on a negative charge.

Electric Field vs. Magnetic Field

Amagnetic fieldis the magnetic effect

ofelectric currentsandmagnetic materials. The
magnetic field at any given point is specified by
both adirectionand amagnitude(or strength);
as such it is avector field.

A magnetic field is produced by the motion of

electric charges.

Magnetic field lines always form closed loops

because theres no such things as magnetic
monopole with only a north or south pole.

Direction of Magnetic field


If we hold the conductor

with right hand so that
the stretched thumb
points in the direction of
current, then, encircling
fingers will give the
direction of magnetic
lines of force round the

Direction of Magnetic field


A right hand screw or

corkscrew is visualized
as being in the same
direction as the current
is flowing in the wire.
The direction in which
the corkscrew rotates is
then the same as the
direction in which the
circular magnetic field is
induced by the flow of
the current

Amperes Law

Themagnetic fieldin space around anelectric

currentis proportional to the electric current which
serves as its source, just as theelectric fieldin
space is proportional to thecharge which serves as
its source. Ampere's Law states that for any closed
loop path, the sum of the length elements times the
magnetic field in the direction of the length element
is equal to thepermeabilitytimes the electric
current enclosed in the loop.

Amperes law is therefore limited to the production

of magnetic field due to conduction current- the
current flowing through conductors such as wires.

Maxwells Displacement Current

In electromagnetism,displacement currentis a
quantity appearing inMaxwell'sequations that is
defined in terms of the rate of change of
currenthas the units of electriccurrentdensity, and it
has an associated magnetic field just as actual
currents do.

A capacitor is simply composed of parallel conducting

plates separated by small distance such that the two
plates are not directly connected. It is a device that
can store electrical energy in the electric field between
the plates

Electromagnetic Theory

Electromagnetic theory was formulated by

James Clerk Maxwell in 1867 by using his
Maxwells equations.

Maxwells synthesis of electricity and

magnetism ranks as the most important
achievement of the human mind in the 19 th
century since the time of Newton.

Maxwells synthesis is composed of four

underlying laws.These laws are already
supported by experimental findings when he
started to formulate his theory.

Laws composing Maxwells electromagnetic




Gausss law for


The electric flux in a

closed surface is
proportional to the
charge enclosed by
the surface

Electric charges and

electric field.

Gausss Law for


The net magnetic flux Magnetic field always

through a closed
forms closed loops.
surface is always zero.

Faradays Law

The time rate of

change in magnetic
flux produces electric
field manifested as
induced voltage.


The conduction
Magnetism from
current and the rate of electricity
change in electric flux
produces magnetic

Electricity from

Both of them synthesized principles and ideas

into a unifying theory that accounts for all the
specifics of the phenomenon




Consequences of Maxwells
Electromagnetic Theory

Combining the four laws in the analysis of vacuum,

Maxwell ended up with a wave equation. Plugging
in the constants of electricity and magnetism
included in the equation, he was able to arrive at a
familiar result that was already determined from a
number of experiments.

Heres what he approximately obtained from his

calculations: 3.0 x 10^8m/s value of the speed
of light in vacuum.He discovers that light itself has
electromagnetic nature.Further studies revealed
that even optics was unified with electricity and

Electromagnetic Waves

Because the theory resulted in a wave equation, Maxwell

predicted that there exists another kind of waves called
electromagnetic waves.

These waves propagate even in vacuum as varying electric

and magnetic fields reinforcing each other and they travel
at the same speed of light.

Electromagnetic waves are formed when an electric

field couples with a magnetic field. The magnetic and
electric fields of an electromagnetic wave are
perpendicular to each other and to the direction of the
wave.James Clerk Maxwell and Heinrich Hertz are
two scientists who studied how electromagnetic waves are
formed and how fast they travel.

Electromagnetic Waves

In Maxwells lifetime, the only known EM wave

with certainty was light.After his death,Heinrich
Hertz first produced radio waves in 1890.

Hertzs vindication of Maxwells prediction of the

existence of electromagnetic waves paved the
way to the modern telecommunication systems as
the world knows it today.Wireless
technology,Television,AM and FM radio
broadcasting, satellite communication, Internet
through Wi-Fi, and even cellphone technology will
not be possible if not for the carrier of information
in the form of EM waves.