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Session 1 – Intro to Mag

For Lavien Premraj

Some cool things about magnetism
 Railguns
 Speakers
 Induction cook-tops
 Mass spectrometry
 Particle accelerators (LHC)
 Motors
 Generators
 Maglev
 Theory on magnetic fields (KCU) (30 min)
 Practical on magnetic fields (IP) (30 min)
 Worked examples on magnetic fields (KCU) (30 min)
 Harder circular motion problems (EC) (30 min)

Every week’s session/s will be structured similarly to this – there will be sections on KCU, IP
and EC

Next week, although the EC section will focus on magnetism, there will still be more
harder circular motion problems to consolidate your knowledge on the topic
Some housekeeping
 Useful physics resources:

1. Problems in Physics (Gardiner) – available in the library as a hard-copy. I’ve provided an online copy
for you too

2. Physics Problem Booklet (I’ve provided the problem booklet for magnetism)

Tips I gathered throughout the year:

1. Look for understanding and do independent research – lots of EC questions will be based off novel
applications – so research them up – I included a list of potential applications of magnetism on the
second slide
2. Make sure you are able to explain and even teach a concept – use this to gauge your understanding
of the topic
3. EEI – choose an easier topic with not too much university mathematics – ask Ms Chan for guidance –
seek her out and show her that you mean it – leave no stone unturned and make sure that every part
of your line of reasoning has justification for it
Magnetic, B Field: First Principles
 Magnetic (B) fields are regions of space where an object immersed in
the field experiences a magnetic force (Fmag)

 Similar to electric (E) fields – objects experience electric force, FE and

gravitational fields – objects experience gravitational force, Fgrav

Important – it is useful to think of a magnetic field causing an object to

be acted upon by a magnetic force

(i.e. without a magnetic, B field, an object would not experience a

magnetic force)
B Field – Causes
 Fundamentally, B fields and hence, magnetic forces, arise when there is a movement
of charge

 Since electric current is moving charge, a length of wire carrying current will cause a B
field around it.

 B field is a vector quantity

Directional part of B field vector:

 For a length of wire carrying current, the B field is created as concentric circles along
the entire length of the wire where current passes through

 Tip: imagine your hand being able to slide up and down the length of the wire – the
field is like a cylinder around the wire
B Field – Right Hand Grip Rule
1. Right hand grips the length of wire
2. Thumb points in direction of conventional current (+ve charge)
3. Fingers curl in the direction of B field (anti/clockwise)

Sketch in the direction of the B field

B Field Conventions
As you will soon realise that magnetic force involves the use of cross product, i.e. two vectors in
a plane creating another vector that is perpendicular to the plane, you should appreciate the
need for conventions relating to quantities coming in and out of the page (3D)

Circle – tip of the arrow coming

TOWARDS you (out of the page)
Cross – back of the arrow going
AWAY from you (into the page)

Sketch the direction of the current

in both cases to the left

Tip: Orient your thumb either into

or out of the page
 Coils of current-carrying wire that have two
‘types’ of magnetic fields

1. External magnetic field: Like a bar magnet

(points from the north and into the south)

2. Internal magnetic field – strong, uniform

magnetic field – high density of field lines
means that the field is strong
 Solenoids are important because they can
create controlled magnetic fields and can be
used as electromagnets.
Solenoid Grip Rule – finding NORTH
 Solenoid rule: your fingers
follow the direction of
conventional current – wrap
your fingers around the
solenoid – your thumb points in
the direction of NORTH

Warning: Some people think that

the thumb is the direction of the
field and associate field as NORTH
going into SOUTH

Note that externally, the field

lines around the solenoid exit
from the north pole and enter by
the south pole, whereas
internally, the lines go through the
south pole to the north pole
Solenoid – Formula and Exercise
B Field Practical – Compass
B Field Practical – Conceptual Understanding
Direction of Direction of
Earth’s B Field Earth’s B Field
B Field Practical – Explanation
Lets have a closer look at how the deflection in the needle arises.
Point A is on the surface of the table, beneath the wire and in the Direction of
Earth’s B Field
direction of the Earth’s B field
Note that the needle points in the direction of the resultant B field. (constant along
this direction)
Remember: X means going into the page
Wire going into
the page

X Horizontal component of
the resultant B field

A Surface (table)

Side view: Although the B field produced by the

wire is in concentric circles, at any specific point,
the B field acts tangent to the circle at the point
B Field Practical Explanation Continued

As the Earth’s B field is uniform (constant in magnitude, it does

Direction of not matter where Point A lies along the length of the wire.
Earth’s B Field (i.e. A is an arbitrary point below the wire)

At any point directly below the wire, you will have two
perpendicular components – horizontal component due to the B
field created by the wire and a vertical component due to
Earth’s constant B field.

As Earth’s B field is constant, the magnitude of the vertical

component remains the same.

Therefore, as the strength of the field is decreased, by

decreasing current, the length of the horizontal component in
the vector triangle decreases, causing the angle of deflection
(angle that needle makes with the vertical) to decrease (i.e. less
B Field Practical – Mathematical Relationships

𝐵 𝑤𝑖𝑟𝑒
𝑡𝑎𝑛𝜃 =
Bwire 𝐵 𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑡ℎ

Since Bearth is constant in magnitude, 𝑡𝑎𝑛𝜃 ∝ Bwire

The set up involves a square loop of varying current – a long
wire is wrapped six times around the frame (6 loops)
B Practical Set Up
Set up tip: Make sure that Earth’s magnetic field points through
the wires

Also, the plane of the current loop must be aligned in the

direction of the Earth’s magnetic field

Exercise: Use the right-hand rule to show that all 4 sides of the
loop contribute to creating a field in one uniform direction

Tips to reduce error: 1. What happens to the compass deflection if the total
dimensions of the loop are made smaller?
1. Keep the loop away from the power supply
(electromagnets in power supply may interfere
2. What happens to the compass deflection when the polarity is
with the resultant magnetic field and hence, reversed?
the angle of deflection)
3. What happens if the loop is set up such that the wire is
perpendicular to Earth’s magnetic field?
Side-track: What is an electromagnet?
 An electromagnet is a type of magnet in which the magnetic field is produced
by an electric current. The magnetic field disappears when the current is
turned off. Electromagnets usually consist of insulated wire wound into a coil.
A current through the wire creates a magnetic field which is concentrated in
the hole in the center of the coil. The wire turns are often wound around
a magnetic core made from a ferromagnetic or ferrimagnetic material such
as iron; the magnetic core concentrates the magnetic flux and makes a
more powerful magnet.

 The main advantage of an electromagnet over a permanent magnet is that

the magnetic field can be quickly changed by controlling the amount of
electric current in the winding. However, unlike a permanent magnet that
needs no power, an electromagnet requires a continuous supply of current
to maintain the magnetic field.
Biot-Savart Law
Intro to Mag Worked Examples
Intro to Mag Worked Examples
Harder Circular Motion Problems
 Loop the Loop (10 minutes)
Harder Circular Motion Problems
 Particle on a Hemisphere (10 minutes)
Harder Circular Motion Problems
 Conical Pendulum (10 minutes)
 Complete all Intro to Mag exercises - try some of the booklet questions too
 Fill in the rest of the OneNote by yourself – I’ll provide answers to the OneNote at
the next session
 Go through the PPT again and develop your own understanding/model of magnetism –
try the Cornell note-taking method
 Try these challenging magnetic field questions
 Research and make notes on the catapult effect
 Research magnetic domains and write a paragraph on how inserting an soft iron core
into a solenoid increases the solenoid’s magnetic field
 What do we mean by a soft iron core?
 Once you have finished the above and feel that you have mastered the topic,
message me on FB and I’ll send you a mini-quiz which you can do to monitor your
progress (note: the quiz contains some challenging questions)