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SOURCES OF

MAGNETIC FIELD

28
Sections we will cover
1. Magnetic Field of a Moving
Charge
2. Magnetic Field of a Current
Element
3. Magnetic Field of a Straight
Current-Carrying Conductor
4. Forces Between Parallel
Conductors
5. Magnetic Field of a Circular
Current Loop

The magnetic field of a moving charge


We are familiar with the force caused by a permanent magnet, but even that magnetic field
arises from the motion of charges within atoms. So lets look at the force caused by a single
moving charge and build up from there.
Experiments show that the magnetic field, B, is proportional to the amount of charge, q, and
inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the charge, r. That is very similar
to the results found for the electric field. Unlike the electric field however, the magnetic
field depends on the velocity of the charge, v. Also the direction of the magnetic field is not
radially along r, but is perpendicular Btoboth
r and
qv sin
/ v.
r 2 Mathematically this is expressed as:
Experiments yield the proportionality constant, so that we have the magnetic field caused
r to be:
r velocity
by a single charge moving with constant
qv r

r2

is ra unit vector in the radial direction

o 4 10 7 Tm / A

The magnetic field of a moving charge


r o qvr r
B
4 r 2

r
~ E field

1 q
r
2
4 o r

Because B is perpendicular to v and r, the field does


not radiate outward like an electric field, but forms
concentric circles around the moving charge:
r
E field

e outer loops would have a smaller B field by the inverse square nature of B.

Question
A positive point charge is moving directly toward point P. The
magnetic field that the point charge produces at point P
A. points from the charge toward point P.
B. points from point P toward the charge.
C. is perpendicular to the line from the point charge to point P.
D. is zero.
E. The answer depends on the speed of the point charge.

Magnetic force between moving protons


So, if you had two single charges moving near each other, what would the total force be on
one due to the other? Consider the case of two protons moving with the same speed in
opposite but parallel directions:
The B field at the upper proton caused by the lower proton is:

r o qvr r o qv

k
4 r 2
4 r 2

So the force is:

2 2
r
r r

qv
q
v
o
o

FB qv B q (vi )
k
j
4 r 2
4 r 2

Which is repulsive, as is the Coulomb force:


r
r
FE qE

1 q2
r
2
4 o r

The ratio of these forces is:

FB v 2
2
FE c

c = the speed of light in a


vacuum, but also,
c2=1/oo
due to the interdependence
of E and B fields

FB < FE for v<c

Question
Two positive point charges move side by side in the
same direction with the same velocity.
What is the direction of the magnetic force that the
upper point charge exerts on the lower one?

+q

r
v

+q

r
v

A. toward the upper point charge (the force is attractive)


B. away from the upper point charge (the force is repulsive)
C. in the direction of the velocity
D. opposite to the direction of the velocity
E. none of the above

Magnetic field of a current element


According to the Principle of Superposition of Magnetic Fields, the
total magnetic field of several moving charges is the vector sum of
each field. We can use this to find the
r magnetic field due to a current.

r o qv r
B
2
4

r
We can replace q with dQ, the amount of charge in an incremental
section of a current carrying wire, dl, of cross-sectional area A
containing n charges per unit volume of individual magnitude q,
traveling at the drift velocity, vd.
Plugging this in, we get:

dQ nqAdl

r o dQvr r o n q vd Adl sin


dB

2
4 r
4
r2

But nqvd is just the current, so

Magnetic field of a current element


We get the magnetic field caused by a current element, also called the law of Biot and Savart:

r
r o Idl r
dB
4 r 2

From this, we can find the magnetic field due to the current in any circuit by integrating over
the complete circuit:

r
r o Idl r
B
4 r 2

What is the magnetic field around Fido?

No. You will be integrated.

Lets do a (simpler) problem


What is the magnetic field at points P1 and P2 due to the 1.0 cm length of wire shown in
red?

B of a straight current-carrying wire


If we apply the law of Biot and Savart to find the B field a
distance x from a long straight rconductor of length 2a:

r o
B
4

Idl r
r2

Where dl = dy and r = (x2+y2)1/2, we get:

r o I
B
4

xdy

2 3/2

r o I
a
B
2 x x 2 a 2 1/2
For a very, very long wire ( a ):

r o I
B
2 x

B field of a straight current-carrying wire


Since the wire is symmetric on all sides, the shape of the B field is a closed loop all the way
around the wire in the direction given by the right hand rule:

Magnetic field shown by iron filings.

B field of a straight current-carrying wire


This is why a compass can be used to map out the magnetic field around a wire:

Question

Magnetic fields around two long wires


How does the electric field behave between two wires
carrying equal current in opposite directions?

r o I
B
2 r

Superposition principle is applied to the B field from two individual w

Question
Two long, straight wires are oriented
perpendicular to the xy-plane. They carry
currents of equal magnitude I in opposite
directions as shown. At point P, the magnetic
field due to these currents is in
A. the positive x-direction.
B. the negative x-direction.
C. the positive y-direction.
D. the negative y-direction.
E. none of the above

Question
A long straight wire lies along the y-axis and
carries current in the positive y-direction.

A positive point charge moves along the x-axis


in the positive x-direction. The magnetic force
that the wire exerts on the point charge is in
A. the positive x-direction.

r
v
O

+q

B. the negative x-direction.


C. the positive y-direction.
D. the negative y-direction.
E. none of the above

Force between parallel conductors


Because a current carrying wire will create a magnetic field in the
position of a parallel wire a distance r away (and vice versa) these
wires will exert forces on each other by:

r r
r
FB I l B

Where the B field from each wire is:

r o I
B
2 r

So, the force per unit length on each conductor is:

F o I1 I 2

L
2 r

The conductors attract each other if the currents are in the same direction and
repel if they are in opposite directions.

Lets do a problem
How much force do the wires below exert on each other?

Question
The long, straight wire AB carries a
14.0-A current as shown. The
rectangular loop has long edges
parallel to AB and carries a clockwise
5.00-A current.
What is the direction of the net
magnetic force that the straight wire
AB exerts
the
loop?
A. toon
the
right
B. to the left
C. upward (toward AB)
D. downward (away from AB)
E. misleading questionthe net magnetic force is zero

Definition of the Ampere


The unit of current is the ampere, A, which is usually thought of as
1C
1A =
s
But it is actually defined by a 2 dyne force per unit length between two long, parallel wires
that carry identical currents and are separated by 1 cm. The current in each wire is then
defined to be 1 A.
When the cgs system gave way to the MKS system, the definition did not change, but is now
phrased differently. A one amp current is that which causes a 2x10-7N/m force per unit length
between 2 long parallel wires separated by 1 meter.
The SI unit of charge, the coulomb, is defined in terms of the ampere. When a conductor
carries a steady current of 1 A, the quantity of charge that flows through a cross section of the
conductor in 1 second is 1 Coulomb (C).

Magnetic field of a circular current loop


We can use the Biot Savart
r law to find the magnetic field produced on the axis of a current
r o Idl r
loop:

dB

r2

r
From the figure, we can see that r is perpendicular to dl and also that r
so we get:

o I dl
dB
2
2
4 x a

The components of dB are then:


dBx dB cos

o I dl
4 x 2 a 2

o I dl
dBy dB sin
4 x 2 a 2

a
x2 a2

o I
adl
4 x 2 a 2 3/2

o I
xdl

2
2
2
2 3/2
4

x a
x a
x

x a
2

Magnetic field of a circular current loop


However, for every loop element, dl, there is another dl on the opposite side of the loop creating
a dBy in the opposite direction, so the y-components of the magnetic field caused by a loop
cancel out and we just need to integrate the x-components to find the total magnetic field on
the axis of a current loop:
Bx

o I
o Ia
o Ia
adl

dl

2 a
3/2
3/2
3/2
2
2
2
2
2
2
4 x a
4 x a
4 x a

And we end up with:


Bx

o Ia 2

2 x a
2

2 3/2

For N loops stacked side-by-side, like a solenoid:


Bx

o NIa 2

2 x2 a2

3/2

Which allows you to provide a stronger field without needing an enormous current.

Magnetic field of a circular current loop


If you graph this as a function of the distance from the
loop, you find that the B field is at its maximum value
in the center of the loop:
Bx

o NIa 2

2 x2 a2

3/2

B field not circular around wire.

Using a solenoid allows a more uniform magnetic


field over a larger volume, which is useful for many
applications:
NI
B

2a

B field at the
center of N
circular loops of
radius a.

Question
A wire consists of two straight
sections with a semicircular
section between them. If
current flows in the wire as
shown, what is the direction
of the magnetic field at P due
to the current?
A. to the right

Yet another right hand rule:

B. to the left
C. out of the plane of the figure
D. into the plane of the figure
E. misleading questionthe magnetic field at P is zero

Question
The wire shown here is
infinitely long and has a 90
bend. If current flows in the
wire as shown, what is the
direction of the magnetic
field at P due to the current?
A. to the right
B. to the left
C. out of the plane of the figure
D. into the plane of the figure
E. none of these

Amperes law
So far we have found the magnetic field by summing the contributions due to different current
elements. This was similar to how we found the electric field due to contributions from
different charges. However, Gausss Law allowed us to find the electric field for symmetric
charge distributions more easily by integrating the flux through a closed surface. Integrating the
magnetic flux through a closed surface would just yield zero,
due to the lack of magnetic monopoles. However, in 1826,
French physicist and mathematician Andre-Marie Ampere
related the current flowing through a surface to the line
integral of the magnetic field enclosing that surface.

B dl

o I enclosed

Amperes Law

Andre-Marie Ampere, discovered the


relationship between electric current and

Amperes law (special case)


Earlier we found that the magnetic field
at a distance r from a long straight conductor was:
r o I
B
2 r
If we do a line integral counter-clockwise around this wire at a distance r away, the B field will
be constant and we can take it out of the integral:

r r
o I
B dl Bdl cos B dl 2 r 2 r o I

cos 0o = 1

cos 180o = -1

The positive and negative contributions cancel.


If the current flows into the page, the line integral also yields a negative value

Amperes law (general statement)


Integration over a non-circular path yields the same result because the dot product causes
only the line segments parallel to the B field to contribute to the integral:

B dl

o I enclosed

dl = r tand = rd

For a current enclosed by the line.

For a current outside the line.

Amperes law (general statement)


Integration over the same closed path yields for several
current carrying wires would just add add each of their
contributions (positive and negative):

B dl

Bdlcos0o=+Bdl

o I enclosed

Bdlcos180o=-Bdl

For two wires carrying current in opposite directions, the line integrals cancel each other.

Amperes Law in this form is not valid for changing curren

Question
The figure shows, in cross section, three
conductors that carry currents
perpendicular to the plane of the figure.
If the currents I1, I2, and I3 all have the
same magnitude, for which path(s) is the
line integral of the magnetic field equal to
zero? A. path a only
B. paths a and c
C. paths b and d
D. paths a, b, c, and d
E. The answer depends on whether the integral goes
clockwise or counterclockwise around the path.

Question
The figure shows magnetic field lines
through a permanent magnet. This
magnet is not connected to a voltage
source. What can you conclude from the
fact that there are closed loops of
magnetic field going through the magnet
(like the
red one)?There are no currents in the magnet.
A. Nothing.
B. There are currents in the magnet pointing out of the
These are currents caused by electrons orbiting around the atoms in the magnet.
page.
C. There are currents in the magnet pointing into the page.
D. There are currents in the space outside the magnet.
E. The answer depends on whether the integral goes
clockwise or counterclockwise around the path.

Magnetic fields of long conductors


Consider the case of a long cylindrical conductor of radius r. Assume the current is
uniformly distributed over the cross-sectional area of the conductor. Find the magnetic
field as a function of the distance r from the center of the conductor.

Magnetic fields of long conductors


The magnetic field inside a long cylindrical conductor of radius R is:

o I r
B
2 R 2

o I
B
Outside the conductor, the distribution is identical to that found for a thin wire:
2 r

So a cylindrical conductor can be treated as if all its charge were concentrated at its center.

Both results give the same value at the surfa

Field of a solenoid
A solenoid consists of a helical winding of wire on a cylinder. If it is wound tightly enough
and is long enough, the magnetic field near its center is very nearly uniform. The magnetic
field on the exterior, especially near its center (longitudinally) is very nearly zero. We can
use this when doing a line integral enclosing one side of the solenoid for a short length:

Bsolenoid o nI
inside only

Direction of B by RHR

n = number of turns per unit length

Field of a toroidal solenoid


A toroidal solenoid is a doughnut-shaped solenoid. If it is tightly wound and its center is
small compared to its radius, the field is confined almost entirely to the interior of the
windings and is very uniform.

Btoroid

o NI

2 r

Direction of B by RHR

B dl o I enclosed 0

B dl o NI

B dl o N I in I out 0

path1

path 2

path 3

Question
The wire shown here is
infinitely long and has a 90
bend. If current flows in the
wire as shown, what is the
direction of the magnetic
field at P due to the current?
A. to the right
B. to the left
C. out of the plane of the figure
D. into the plane of the figure
E. none of these

Question
How would you show that the magnetic field around a coaxial cable is zero?

B dl

o I enclosed