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Magnetic Force
Bar Magnets
Like poles repel, unlike poles attract.
Force On a Magnet in a Magnetic Field
A magnet in a uniform magnetic field experiences two equal but opposite, parallel forces, which
gives it an angular acceleration, providing there is damping, it ultimately comes to rest with its
axis parallel to the field.
A current carrying wire also experiences a force when placed in a magnetic field.
If the wire is perpendicular to the field the wire moves. There is no motion if the field is parallel
to it.
The force which brings about the motion of the wire is perpendicular to the plane of the
conductor, and the magnetic field in which it is placed.
The direction of the force is found by Flemmings Left Hand Rule.
Flemmings Left Hand Rule states that if the Thumb, Fore Finger and Middle Finger are
held at right angles to each other, with the Fore finger pointing in the direction of the magnetic
field, the middle finger pointing in the direction of the current, then the thumb will point in the
direction of the magnetic force (or movement/motion of the coil.)
Factors Affecting the Force

The effect of the current

The length of the conductor
The strength and orientation of the magnetic field (number of lines per cross section
Increasing the coil current is expected to increase the field strength.

Magnetic Flux Density, B

Magnetic Field Strength is known as the flux density or magnetic field induction or B field, B.
Flux density is the force acting per unit current length on a current carrying conductor that is
placed perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field.

The expression for the force of a current carrying wire in a magnetic field is given by

If the conductor and magnet are not perpendicular, but are at an angle to each other, the
expression becomes

When = 90 sin 90 = 1. Therefore, F = BIl. When the conductor and the field are parallel
F = 0, since sin = 0.
A current balance is used to measure the flux density of the magnetic field.
F = mg
m = mass of rider
Biot Savart law
Flux density, B can be found experimentally using the Biot-Savart law. This law states that for a
very short length , l of a conductor carrying a current, I, the magnitude of the magnetic flux
density, B at a point P distant r from l is

is the angle between l and the magnetic field line joining it.
The constant of proportionality is a property of the medium called the permeability of the
medium, .

The permeability of a vacuum is 0.
0 = 4 X 10-7 Hm-1

0 is defined - not experimentally found. It is logical or rational for 4 to be introduced

into the equation.
of air and most other materials is equivalent to 0 except ferromagnetic material.
Flux Density of Circular Coil
For a coil of radius r carrying a steady current, I of length l at right angles to the field line
joining it, the flux density, B is given by

Flux Density of Very Long Wire

B at a perpendicular distance, a from a very long wire carrying a current is

Flux Density of a Long Solenoid

At a point P at the end of the solenoid

Force On a Charge in a Magnetic Field
Since electric current is the drift of charge. It can be assumed that the force experienced by the
current carrying conductor is the resultant force acting on the constituent charges.
Consider a conductor of length, l containing n particles of charge Q and drift velocity v.

Force on a conductor is F = BIl sin

If the charge moves at right angles to the magnetic field, the force on one charged particle is
given by

The direction of the force is given by Flemmings Left Hand Rule.

Magnetic Field Due to a Solenoid
A solenoid is a long coil (shaped like a cylinder) containing a large number of close turns of
insulated copper wire.

The figure above shows a solenoid SN whose ends are connected to battery B through a switch
X. When a current is passed through a solenoid, it produces a magnetic field around it. The
magnetic field is shown in the fig. It is along the axis of the solenoid and is almost constant in
magnitude and direction. The magnetic lines of force inside the solenoid are nearly parallel to
each other and parallel to the axis of the solenoid.
A solenoid when suspended freely, aligns itself in the north-south direction, thus behaving like a
bar magnet. One end of the solenoid acts like a north pole and the other end the south-pole.
The polarity of the solenoid can be changed by reversing the direction of the current.
The strength of the magnetic field produced by a current carrying solenoid depends on:
1. The number of turns the larger the number of turns, the greater the magnetism produced
2. The strength of the current when current increases, magnetism also increases
3. Nature of core-material used in making the solenoid if we use soft-iron as core for the
solenoid, then it produces the strongest magnetism
Electromagnets are used to control switches in relays.

Unlike a standard magnet, which possesses a constant magnetic field, electromagnets only
possess a magnetic field when electrical current passes through them. The strength of the
electromagnetic magnetic field depends on the amount of electrical current that is supplied to the

Magnetic Door Locks
These door locks are used to block off areas that are not accessible to the public. These locks
function by connecting an electromagnet to the door frame and a metal plate to the exterior of the
electromagnet on the other side of the door frame. When the electromagnet is activated, the door
is held firmly in place. When the current to the electromagnet is disrupted, the door cab be easily
opened. This is much faster than using a key to open and relock a door and also serves to keep
private areas secure.
However a magnetic lock has no interconnecting parts and is therefore not suitable for high
security applications because it is possible to bypass the lock by disrupting the power supply.
Nevertheless, the magnetic locks compare well with conventional door locks and cost less than
the conventional light bulbs to operate.
Lead-acid supply can be used to retain security during short-term power outages.
Relays use an electromagnet to operate switching mechanisms mechanically.

Hall Effects
A current carrying conductor in a magnetic field has a small pd across its sides, in a direction at
right angles to the field. The pd is called the hall pd across XY.

This effect was observed by Hall in 1879, which is due to the forces of the charge carriers in the
conductor. These forces act at right angles to the magnetic field and the current, which causes the
charge carriers to be pushed towards one side of the conductor, resulting in a pd across the
In metals the charge carriers are negatively charged electrons, whereas in semiconductors the
charge carriers can be either negative or positive.
The side to which the charge carriers move will have the same sign as the charge carriers. The
collection of the electrons to one side of the metal, makes that side negatively charged, and at a
lower potential with respect to the opposite side.
The flow of electron ceases when the emf reaches a certain value called the Hall voltage. This is
when the force of the electric field, and that of the magnetic field are equal.
Magnitude of the Voltage
Consider a metal of width d, and Hall voltage, VH. The electric field strength, E is given by

E = VH/d
The force on each electron is

The electric force of the electric field created is equal to the force of the magnetic field

Use in Semi-Conductors
The Hall effect helps in determining the sign of the charge carriers. This facilitated by the fact
that the polarity of the Hall voltage reverses depending on the charge carriers. The Hall voltage
is much more measurable in semi-conductors than in metals due to the fact that it is of a greater
value in semiconductors than in metals. Metals have more electrons per cubic metre than

The charge density is inversely proportional to the Hall voltage as shown by the equation.

Use of Hall Effect

A Hall probe can be used to measure the flux density, B of a magnetic field.

The araldite glue prevents the wire from being detached from the wafer.

net = constant for a given semiconductor

The voltmeter scale is calibrated in Tesla (T), so that the flux density is read directly from the
scale. The direction of B must be perpendicular to the Hall probe.
Hall Probe consists of a semiconductor wafer with two contacts on opposite sides connected to a
high impedance voltmeter.
With the B perpendicular to a conductor, a VH is obtained on the sides of the conductor normal to
the direction of the current flow.
VH is used for:

Semiconductors, to determine if current flow is due mainly to positive or negative

To measure, n.
As a Hall probe, for measuring B.

Electromagnetic Induction
Electromagnetic induction occurs when an electromotive force (EMF) is produced in a conductor
resulting from changes in the magnetic flux linkage, that is, an EMF is induced whenever there is
a change in the magnetic flux linked with a circuit (or coil.)The strength of the Electromotive
Force induced is directly proportional to the rate of change of flux linked with the coil.
Electromagnetic induction is affected by each of the following factors:
1. The strength of the magnet
2. The number of turns in the coil
3. The speed with which the magnet is plunged into and out of the coil.




If the coil moves


Relative motion of magnet and coil


If magnetic lines of flux are cut

If the circuit is closed
If magnet is placed in coil

Induced EMF
Induced current
NO induced EMF

Magnetic Flux
Electromagnetic Induction is an action-at-a-distance effect.
Faradays model explains the effect of electromagnetic induction, based on magnetic field lines.
He proposed that an emf is induced in a conductor when there is a change in the number of lines
linking it (passing through it or when it cuts across field lines).
E.g. the number of lines linking or threading it increases as it moves from point A to B, but cuts
a certain number of lines when moving from A to B.
The magnetic flux, , is a measure of the number of lines linking a coil, B of cross sectional area
A. The lines are perpendicular to/and over the area, A. This is better for quantifying
electromagnetic induction.
The unit of magnetic flux is the Weber.

B = magnetic flux density (Tesla, T)

A = cross-sectional area (m2)
The magnetic flux through a small plane surface is the product of the flux density normal to the
surface and the area of the surface.


If the normal makes an angle with B, the magnetic flux is given by

For a coil with N turns, the magnetic flux is called the flux linkage and is given by
The above is referring to the flux entering, passing through or leaving a coil.

Faradays law
The law states that the magnitude of the proportional to the rate of change of flux linkage or rate
of flux cutting

= emf (induced)

The constant of proportionality is one (1).

N = flux linkage
t = time
One Weber is the magnetic flux which induces a one turn coil an emf of 1V when the flux is
reduced to zero in 1second.

N = number of turns
Lenzs law
The direction of the induced emf is such that it tends to oppose the flux change causing it, and
does oppose it if induced current flows.
Lenzs law states that is the direction of the induced EMF is such that it opposes the changes
causing it.

Lenzs law states that the induced current flows as to oppose the change causing it.
Lenzs law is based on energy conservation.
The induced current is also known as Eddy Currents.
The induced EMF is directly proportional to the rate of change of magnetic flux.
To increase the induced emf:

Increase the relative speed of magnet or coil

Increase number of turns of coil
Increase strength of magnet

By incorporating Lenzs law into Faradays law a negative sign is induced in the expression to
show that current due to the induced emf produces an opposing flux change. Therefore the
expression is given by

Eddy Currents
A piece of metal exposed to a changing magnetic field has emf induced in it, which can cause
currents, called eddy currents to flow inside the metal and may become large if the resistance is
low, of the path the current follows.
Eddy currents are the currents flowing inside a metal that is exposed to a changing magnetic
field, due to the emf induced in it.
These currents may become large if the resistance, of the path it follows is low.
Eddy currents have magnetic and heating effects.

Straight Conductor

Consider a conductor of length, l, moving with a steady velocity v through and at right angles to
a uniform magnetic field of flux density, B.

The charge separation and electron accumulation, an electric field is created inside the conductor
which exerts a repulsive force on the other electrons as being urged towards that end by the
magnetic force.
The electric and magnetic forces are opposite and become equal when there is no further charge

Applications of Electromagnetic Induction

How the use of Electromagnetic Induction is employed:

Flemmings Right Hand Rule
If a current carrying conductor is held between the poles of a magnet, the direction in which the
current flows through the conductor is found by Flemmings Right Hand Rule. Flemmings
Right Hand Rule states that if the Thumb, Fore Finger and Middle Finger are held at right
angles to each other, with the thumb pointing in the direction of the magnetic force (or
movement/motion of the coil,) the fore finger pointing in the direction of the magnetic field,
then the middle finger points in the direction of the current.

A.C. Generator
Current is not supplied
Slip rings are used not split rings
Slip rings ensure a.c. output
The direction of the induced current is found by Flemmings Right Hand Rule

Commercial Generator
Power suppliers do not rotate the coil. They rotate the magnet.

1. The diagram shows the voltage-time graph for an a.c. generator. Sketch the new graph
if:a) The speed is doubled
b) The strength of the magnet is increased without changing the speed.

A transformer consists of a soft iron core on which there are two coils, with the windings not
connected in any way. The coil on which the supply is attached is the primary winding and the
other coil on which the load is attached to the secondary winding. A transformer needs an a.c. for
its operation.
A transformer changes (transforms) an alternating potential difference p.d. from one value to
another of greater or smaller value, that is, a transformer is a device which steps up or steps
down voltage, using the principle of mutual induction.

When an alternating current is passed through the primary coil an alternating magnetic
flux will be set up through the iron and will induce an alternating electromotive force,
EMF in the secondary coil.
When current flows into the conductor the coil becomes magnetized, thus changing the
flux of the core which induces an emf in the other conductor.
In other words, when an alternating pd is applied to the primary coil, the resulting current
produces an alternating magnetic flux which links the secondary coil and induces an emf
in it. The value of the induced emf depends on the number of turns in the secondary
A step up transformer has more turns in the secondary coil.
A step down transformer has less turns in the secondary coil.

How the Transformer Works

An alternating current is introduced into the primary coil

This produces an alternating magnetic field in the primary coil
Field lines are trapped by the soft iron ring
A changing magnetic field is set up in the secondary coil

5) This produces an induced EMF cross the secondary coil

6) Using Faradays law to increase the induced EMF (or voltage), increase the number
of turns of coil (or windings.)

The magnitude of the induced EMF will depend on the magnitude of the EMF (voltage)
applied to the primary coil, and the relative number of turns in to two coils.
The output EMF will be larger or smaller than the input EMF depending on whether the number
of turns in the secondary coil is larger or smaller than the number of turns in the primary coil.

Energy Loss in Transformers

Although transformers are very efficient devices, small energy losses do occur because of:

Resistance of windings the copper wire used for the windings has resistance and so
ordinary (I2R) heat losses occur. In high current, low p.d. windings these are minimized
using thick wire.
Prevention: Heat in coils use thick copper wire, place in cooling liquid.


Eddy currents The alternating magnetic flux induces eddy currents in the iron core and
causes heating.
Prevention: Heat in core (eddy currents) - laminated core; use thin strips of metal (high
resistance,) instead of one thick piece of metal (low resistance.)


Hysteresis the magnetization of the core is repeatedly reversed by the alternating

magnetic field. This results in expenditure of energy as heat in the core. This is minimized
by using a magnetic material (such as MUMETAL) which has a low hysteresis loss.



Flux Leakage the flux due to the primary coil may not all link the secondary, if the core
is badly designed or has air gaps in it.

Loss of magnetic flux going from primary to secondary

Very large transformers have to be oil-cooled to prevent heating.

1) A transformer which is said to be ideal has an input voltage of 24V and an input power of
48W. If the primary coil has 900 turns and its secondary 600 turns. Calculate:
Input current ii. Output power
iii. Output voltage
iv. Output current