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# 6.

3 MAGNETIC FIELDS
6.3.1 Magnetic flux density (the tesla)
6.3.2 Force on a carrying conductor
6.3.3 Force on a moving charge in a magnitude field
6.3.4 Measurement of /
6.3.5 Couple on rectangular coil in a magnitude field
6.3.6 Magnetic effect of a steady current (Biot-Savart law and Ampere’s law)
6.3.7 Force between two parallel current carrying conductors
6.3.8 Effect of magnetic materials
6.3.9 Electromagnets.
6.3.10 Magnetic shielding and Lorentz force.

## 6.4 Magnetic Fields

6.4.0 Introduction
A magnitude field is a region or space around which a magnet experiences a magnetic
force. The direction of the magnetic field at any point is given by the direction in which the
North pole of a bar magnet would move if placed at that point. The trajectory or path which
such a pole would follow is called a magnetic field line or line of force. Note that these lines
are directed away from the North Pole of a bar magnet and that “like poles repel” while “unlike
poles attract”. That is N – N or S – S leads to repulsion while N – S leads to attraction.

## 6.4.1 Magnetic Flux density,

 The magnetic flux density represents the magnitude and direction of a magnetic field
at a point. It is a vector quantity whose S.I is the ( ).

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 It is sometimes referred to as the magnetic induction vector, B.
 The direction of the magnetic flux density at a point is that of the tangent to the magnetic
field line at that point.
 The magnitude of is proportional to the number of magnetic field lines per unit area.
 The magnetic flux is proportional to the magnetic field strength by
= − − − − − 6.4.1
where μ = the permeability of the medium and it given by:
μ = μ μ − − − − − − − 6.4.2
where μ = permeability of free space.
μ = relative permeability of the medium. (μ = 4π x 10 H m )

## 6.4.2 The force on a current carrying conductor in a magnetic field

When a current carrying conductor, is placed in a magnetic field, it experiences a force. This
force is due to the interaction between the magnetic field of the current carrying conductor and
that of the external field. Consider a conductor of length, L, carrying current I, placed in a
uniform magnetic field of flux density , it experiences a force whose magnitude is given
by:
F = BIL sin − − − − − 6.4.3
Where q = angle between the current direction and the direction of the magnetic field.

## Rearranging equation 6.4.3 gives: B = . Letting q = 90°Þ B = .

Definition:

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(1 ) is defined as the magnetic flux density of a magnetic field that exerts a force
of (1 ) on a conductor of length 1 carrying a current of 1 places at 90° to
the field lines.
can also be defined as the magnetic flux density of a magnetic field that causes a
conductor of unit length (1 ) carrying a current (1 ) to experience of a force of 1 . That
is 1 = 1 .
Since force is a vector quantity the direction of the force is given by applying Fleming’s left
Hand Rules (FLHR). This rule states that if the thumb, the first and second fingers of the
left hand are placed so that there are mutually perpendicular to each other, then the force
will be in the direction of the thumb when the first finger points in the direction of the
field and the second finger points in the direction of the current.

The following figure shows the application of Fleming’s left hand rule on a current carrying
conductor placed between the poles of two bars magnets.

## 6.4.3 Force on a moving charge in a magnetic field

When a charge enters a uniform magnetic field of flux density , with a velocity , it
experiences a force which is given by:
= × Þ =| |= q − − − − − − 6.4.4
Where q is the angle between and .

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Remarks:
R1: If the charge is positive, then the direction of the force can be obtained by applying
Fleming’s Left hand with the direction of the current being the direction of movement of the
charge.

6.4.4 Measurement of /

 Procedure
 C and A are the cathode and anode respectively, and narrow slits are cut in opposite
plates at A so that the cathode rays passing through are limited to a narrow beam
 The rays then strike the glass at O producing a glow here.
 The rays can be deflected electrostatically by connecting a large battery to the
horizontal plates P, Q or magnetically by means of a current passing through two
Helmholtz coils on either side of the tube near P and Q.
 Observation:
 The magnetic field B is perpendicular to the paper, and if it is uniforms a constant force
acts on the cathode rays (electrons) normal to its motion.
 Which B done, the particles thus begin to move along the arc HM of a circle of radius
r.
Processing
From motion, second law:
Centripetal force = magnetic force

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= ⟹ =

## Precautions and conclusion

 Good electrical contact is insured between the battery and wires.
 Specific charge is approximately the ratio of speed of electron to the radius path into a
magnetic field and the magnetic flux density.

## 6.4.5 A rectangular coil in a magnetic field

Consider a rectangular coil ABCD of length and width , placed in a uniform
magnetic field of flux density , such that its plane is parallel to the field lines as shown below.
If a steady current flows in the circuit (coil), then by Fleming’s Left Hand Rule, the direction
of the forces on the coil can be determined at shown below:

From Fleming’s Left Hand Rule, the forces on BC and AB are directed out off and
into the page respectively and are of the same magnitude = 90° = .
This results to a couple whose effect is a torque about the axis PQ given by T = Fb.
The sides AB and BC are parallel to the field lines and experience forces parallel to
line PQ in opposite senses with a resultant zero torque. It implies that torque produced on a
single turn of the coil is = = , where = = area of the rectangular coil
ABCD.
For a coil of N turns, the total torque T is given by
T = BIAN − − − − − − − 6.4.5
Remarks
R1: In a radial field, the plane of the coil is always parallel to the field lines and equation 6.4.5
then applies for all orientations of the coil.

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R2: For a uniform field as the torque acts on the coil, it produces a rotation and plane of the
coil ceases to be parallel to the field. In this case the sides AB and DC experiences forces along
the axis PQ in opposite directions. This turns to straighten the coil outwards parallel to PQ.
R3: For a rotation of the plane through an angle f, from the direction of the uniform
magnetic field, the force on AB and BC are still into and out off the page but the distance
between them is now f as shown below:

## 6.4.6 Magnetic effect of a steady current

In 1820, Oersted showed that a current carrying conductor had an associated magnetic field.
The direction of the associated magnetic field due to a current carrying conductor can be
obtained by applying the Right Hand Grip Rule.
The Right Hand Grip Rule states that if a current carrying conductor is gripped with the right
hand in such a way that the thumb points in the direction of current flow then the fingers would
coil in the direction of the magnetic field.

## 6.4.6.1 Biot – Savant law

It states that the magnitude of the elemental magnetic flux density | | at a point P, distance
, due to a section of a current carrying conductor of length δL and carrying current I is given
by

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q
δB = ²
− − − − − − − 6.4.6

where q is the angle between the current loop and the position vector of the point P relative
to the midpoint of the element.

## 6.4.6.2: Ampere’s law

It states that the line integral of the magnetic flux density around a closed path is directly
proportional to the current enclosed by the path and it is given mathematically as:
∮ ∙ d = ∮ B Cosq = I − − − − − 6.4.7
where q is the angle between a short length of the path dl and the direction of the field at that
point.
I = current enclosed by the loop.

## 6.4.6.3 Calculating magnetic Flux density (B)

Biot – savant law can be used to calculate the magnitude of magnetic flux density at some
points due to different current elements.
 For an infinitely long straight current carrying conductor, the magnetic flux density at
a point P, distance r, from the wire carrying current I is given by:
μ I
B= − − − − − − − 6.4.8
2πr
 For a circular current loop of radius r carrying current I, the flux density B at the centre
of the loop is given by
μ I
B= − − − − − − − − 6.4.9
2r
 For a solenoid of - turns per unit length carrying current I, the flux density B at the
centre of the solenoid is given by
= − − − − − 6.4.10
If the solenoid is of length L and having N number of turns, then = .

In this case the flux density at the end of the solenoid is given by
1 1 μ NI
B = B = μ nI = − − − − − 6.4.11
2 2 2L

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Remarks:
R1: If the medium is different from free space then μ is multiplied by μ

## 6.4.7 Force between two parallel current carrying conductors

When two currents carrying conductor are placed near each other, each experiences a force due
to the field created by the other.
Consider two infinitely long parallel conductors carrying current I and I and separated by a
distance a in a vacuum as shown below.

Considering the position Y on conductor (2), the magnetic flux density B due to conductor (1)

given by B = .

If we consider a portion of conductor (2) of length then the force (force on wire to (2)
due to wire (1)) is experienced is:
μ I I L F μ I I
F =B I L = ⟹ f = = − − − −6.4.12 ( )
2π L 2π
Considering the position X on conductor (1), the magnetic flux density B due to conductor (2)

is given by: B = .

If we consider a portion of conductor (1) of length then the force it experiences is:

F =B I L = ⟹f = = − − − 6.4.12 ( )

Hence, the force per unit length that any of the two wires experiences is a constant and is
given by:

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μ I I
f= − − − − − − − 6.4.12

The above equation can be used to define the ampere.
Definition:
The Ampere is defined as the steady or direct current which, when it is following
in each of two infinitely long parallel conductors of negligible cross section areas and are one
metre apart in a vacuum causes each conductor to exert a force 2 × 10 on each metre of
the other.
From the above definition, one can calculate the value of μ as follows;

## Using f = = with, I = I = 1 A, = 1 m, F = 2 x 10 N and L = 1 m.

2 x10 N μ (1A)(1A)
⟹ = ⟹ μ ≡ 4π x 10 NA
1m 2π(1m)

Study questions
Show that and are equivalent units of μ .
To show that the two units are equivalent, we reduce them to their base unit forms.
=
And
= ( ) =( )( ) =( )( )( )
=

## 6.4.8 Effect of magnetic materials

Magnetic materials can be classified into diamagnetic, paramagnetic and ferromagnetic
materials.
 A diamagnetic material is a magnetic material that produces a magnetic field which
opposes the external magnetic field in which it is placed.
Thus, the resultant magnetic field drops slightly. Diamagnetic materials have relative
permeabilities which are slightly less than 1; e. g. Bismuth, = 0.9999
 A paramagnetic material is a magnetic material which produces a magnetic field in the
same direction of the field in the environment.
 Thus the resultant field increases slightly.

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Paramagnetic materials have relative permeabilities which are slightly greater than 1;
e. g. Aluminium with = 1.001
 A ferromagnetic material is a magnetic material with a very high relative permeability
up to order of 10 and this greatly increases the magnetic field of the external
environment.
Ferromagnetic materials can be subdivided into two groups; soft ferromagnetic
material and hard ferromagnetic material.
A soft ferromagnetic material easily magnetizes in a magnetic field and easily gives off its
magnetism when the external force is not there e. g. Soft iron.
A hard ferromagnetic material takes a long time to be magnetized and takes a very long time
to be demagnetized, e. g. Hard iron or steal.

6.4.9 Electromagnets
An electromagnet is an assembly which consists of a solenoid wound round an iron or
ferromagnetic core and whose terminals are connected to a direct current source such as a
battery.
When current flows through the solenoid, the soft ferromagnetic core increases the magnetic
field inside the solenoid and thus it behaves as a magnet and when the current out-off its
magnetism is lost.

## 6.4.10 Magnetic shielding and Lorentz force

Magnetic shielding refers to a situation whereby the magnetic effect is blocked from reaching
a region. This can be archived by placing a non-magnetic shield between the magnetic source
and the region.
Lorentz force is a force that a moving charged particle experiences when in a region which
comprises of a magnetic field and an electric field.
Consider a charge moving with velocity in a medium which contains an electric field of
strength and a magnetic field of flux density , then the Lorentz Force, , is given by:
= ( + × ) − − − − − − 6.4.13

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6.4.11 The moving coil Galvanometer
This is an instrument which is used in measuring small amount of currents. It consists of a
coil of N – turns, suspended by a fine wire and which is wound on a fixed cylindrical drum
that rotates between the curved poles of two bars magnets.
 A small mirror is attached to the coil and it reflects a beam of light onto a scale and
acting as a wireless pointer.
 Current is fed into an out of the coil by the way of the support wires.

 The curved pole pieces and the soft iron cylinder combined, produced a radial magnetic
field in the air gap. Thus for all orientations of the coil, the coil will always be parallel to the
field and experiences a constant torque whose magnitude is given by = .
Where is the Flux density in the air-gap, is the current in the coil, is the Area of the
coil, and is the number of turns on it.
 As the torque causes the coil to turn, it twists the suspension wire. This causes the
suspension wire to exert an oppositely directed torque of magnitude ’, which is proportional
to the angle of twist, , and is given by = q , where is a constant proportionality, known
as the torsion constant of the suspension wire.

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 At equilibrium, the restoring torque ’ has the same magnitude as that due to the field
and we set:

’ = ⟹ q= ⟹q = = − − − − − 6.4.14

The above equation shows that the deflection of the coil, q, is directly proportional to the
current, , through it and therefore, the instrument can be calibrated with a linear scale to
measure current.

## 6.4.11.1 Current sensitivity ( )

The current sensitivity of a moving coil galvanometer is the ratio of the deflection, , to the
current, , flowing through it; that is:

= = − − − − − 6.4.15

Thus the current sensitivity of a moving coil galvanometer will be large if either , or is
or are jointly large and is small (but Not too small).

## 6.4.11.2 Voltage sensitivity ( )

This is the ratio of the deflection, q, of the coil to the voltage applied across it; that is:

= = = − − − − − 6.4.16

Where is the resistance of the coil wire. Thus to increase the voltage sensitivity , and
must be increased while and must be

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