Electromagnetism and Magnetic Field

Pages: 5 (1449 words) Published: October 13, 2009
Electromagnetism
Electromagnetism is the physics of the electromagnetic field, a field that exerts a force on particles with the property of electric charge and is reciprocally affected by the presence and motion of such particles. A changing magnetic field produces an electric field (this is the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction, the basis of operation for electrical generators, induction motors, and transformers). Similarly, a changing electric field generates a magnetic field. The magnetic field is produced by the motion of electric charges, i.e., electric current. The magnetic field causes the magnetic force associated with magnets. The theoretical implications of electromagnetism led to the development of special relativity by Albert Einstein in 1905; and from this it was shown that magnetic fields and electric fields are convertible with relative motion as a four vector and this led to their unification as electromagnetism. See also: history of electromagnetism and Magnetism

While preparing for an evening lecture on 21 April 1820, Hans Christian Ørsted developed an experiment that provided surprising evidence. As he was setting up his materials, he noticed a compass needle deflected from magnetic north when the electric current from the battery he was using was switched on and off. This deflection convinced him that magnetic fields radiate from all sides off of a wire carrying an electric current, just as light and heat do, and that it confirmed a direct relationship between electricity and magnetism. At the time of discovery, Oersted did not suggest any satisfactory explanation of the phenomenon, nor did he try to represent the phenomenon in a mathematical framework. However, three months later he began more intensive investigations. Soon thereafter he published his findings, proving that an electric current produces a magnetic field as it flows through a wire. The CGS unit of magnetic induction (oersted) is named in honor of his contributions to the field of electromagnetism. His findings resulted in intensive research throughout the scientific community in electrodynamics. They influenced French physicist André-Marie Ampère's developments of a single mathematical form to represent the magnetic forces between current-carrying conductors. Ørsted's discovery also represented a major step toward a unified concept of energy. This unification, which was observed by Michael Faraday, extended by James Clerk Maxwell, and partially reformulated by Oliver Heaviside and Heinrich Hertz, is one of the accomplishments of 19th century Mathematical Physics. It had far-reaching consequences, one of which was the understanding of the nature of light. Light and other electromagnetic waves take the form of quantized, self-propagating oscillatory electromagnetic field disturbances called photons. Different frequencies of oscillation give rise to the different forms of electromagnetic radiation, from radio waves at the lowest frequencies, to visible light at intermediate frequencies, to gamma rays at the highest frequencies. Ørsted was not the only person to examine the relation between electricity and magnetism. In 1802 Gian Domenico Romagnosi, an Italian legal scholar, deflected a magnetic needle by electrostatic charges. Actually, no galvanic current existed in the setup and hence no electromagnetism was present. An account of the discovery was published in 1802 in an Italian newspaper, but it was largely overlooked by the contemporary scientific community. {text:bookmark-start} {text:bookmark-end}  The electromagnetic force Main article: Electromagnetic force

The force that the electromagnetic field exerts on electrically charged particles, called the electromagnetic force, is one of the fundamental forces. The other fundamental forces are strong nuclear force (which holds atomic nuclei together), the weak nuclear force...