By the end of this section, you will be able to do the following:
- Summarize properties of magnets and describe how some nonmagnetic materials can become magnetized
- Describe and interpret drawings of magnetic fields around permanent magnets and current-carrying wires
- Calculate the magnitude and direction of magnetic force in a magnetic field and the force on a current-carrying wire in a magnetic field
The learning objectives in this section will help your students master the following standards:
- (5) The student knows the nature of forces in the physical world. The student is expected to:
- (G) investigate and describe the relationship between electric and magnetic fields in applications such as generators, motors, and transformers.
In addition, the High School Physics Laboratory Manual addresses content in this section in the lab titled: Magnetism, as well as the following standards:
- (5) Science concepts. The student knows the nature of forces in the physical world. The student is expected to:
- (G) investigate and describe the relationship between electric and magnetic fields in applications such as generators, motors, and transformers.
Section Key Terms
|magnetic dipole||magnetic field||magnetic pole||magnetized||north pole|
|permanent magnet||right-hand rule||solenoid||south pole|
Magnets and Magnetization
People have been aware of magnets and magnetism for thousands of years. The earliest records date back to ancient times, particularly in the region of Asia Minor called Magnesia—the name of this region is the source of words like magnet. Magnetic rocks found in Magnesia, which is now part of western Turkey, stimulated interest during ancient times. When humans first discovered magnetic rocks, they likely found that certain parts of these rocks attracted bits of iron or other magnetic rocks more strongly than other parts. These areas are called the poles of a magnet. A magnetic pole is the part of a magnet that exerts the strongest force on other magnets or magnetic material, such as iron. For example, the poles of the bar magnet shown in Figure 20.2 are where the paper clips are concentrated.
If a bar magnet is suspended so that it rotates freely, one pole of the magnet will always turn toward the north, with the opposite pole facing south. This discovery led to the compass, which is simply a small, elongated magnet mounted so that it can rotate freely. An example of a compass is shown Figure 20.3. The pole of the magnet that orients northward is called the north pole, and the opposite pole of the magnet is called the south pole.
The discovery that one particular pole of a magnet orients northward, whereas the other pole orients southward allowed people to identify the north and south poles of any magnet. It was then noticed that the north poles of two different magnets repel each other, and likewise for the south poles. Conversely, the north pole of one magnet attracts the south pole of other magnets. This situation is analogous to that of electric charge, where like charges repel and unlike charges attract. In magnets, we simply replace charge with pole: Like poles repel and unlike poles attract. This is summarized in Figure 20.4, which shows how the force between magnets depends on their relative orientation.
Consider again the fact that the pole of a magnet that orients northward is called the north pole of the magnet. If unlike poles attract, then the magnetic pole of Earth that is close to the geographic North Pole must be a magnetic south pole! Likewise, the magnetic pole of Earth that is close to the geographic South Pole must be a magnetic north pole. This situation is depicted in Figure 20.5, in which Earth is represented as containing a giant internal bar magnet with its magnetic south pole at the geographic North Pole and vice versa. If we were to somehow suspend a giant bar magnet in space near Earth, then the north pole of the space magnet would be attracted to the south pole of Earth’s internal magnet. This is in essence what happens with a compass needle: Its magnetic north pole is attracted to the magnet south pole of Earth’s internal magnet.
What happens if you cut a bar magnet in half? Do you obtain one magnet with two south poles and one magnet with two north poles? The answer is no: Each half of the bar magnet has a north pole and a south pole. You can even continue cutting each piece of the bar magnet in half, and you will always obtain a new, smaller magnet with two opposite poles. As shown in Figure 20.6, you can continue this process down to the atomic scale, and you will find that even the smallest particles that behave as magnets have two opposite poles. In fact, no experiment has ever found any object with a single magnetic pole, from the smallest subatomic particle such as electrons to the largest objects in the universe such as stars. Because magnets always have two poles, they are referred to as magnetic dipoles—di means two. Below, we will see that magnetic dipoles have properties that are analogous to electric dipoles.
Introduction to Magnetism
This video provides an interesting introduction to magnetism and discusses, in particular, how electrons around their atoms contribute to the magnetic effects that we observe.
Toward which magnetic pole of Earth is the north pole of a compass needle attracted?
- The north pole of a compass needle is attracted to the north magnetic pole of Earth, which is located near the geographic North Pole of Earth.
- The north pole of a compass needle is attracted to the south magnetic pole of Earth, which is located near the geographic North Pole of Earth.
- The north pole of a compass needle is attracted to the north magnetic pole of Earth, which is located near the geographic South Pole of Earth.
- The north pole of a compass needle is attracted to the south magnetic pole of Earth, which is located near the geographic South Pole of Earth.
Only certain materials, such as iron, cobalt, nickel, and gadolinium, exhibit strong magnetic effects. Such materials are called ferromagnetic, after the Latin word ferrum for iron. Other materials exhibit weak magnetic effects, which are detectable only with sensitive instruments. Not only do ferromagnetic materials respond strongly to magnets—the way iron is attracted to magnets—but they can also be magnetized themselves—that is, they can be induced to be magnetic or made into permanent magnets (Figure 20.7). A permanent magnet is simply a material that retains its magnetic behavior for a long time, even when exposed to demagnetizing influences.
When a magnet is brought near a previously unmagnetized ferromagnetic material, it causes local magnetization of the material with unlike poles closest, as in the right side of Figure 20.7. This causes an attractive force, which is why unmagnetized iron is attracted to a magnet.
What happens on a microscopic scale is illustrated in Figure 7(a). Regions within the material called domains act like small bar magnets. Within domains, the magnetic poles of individual atoms are aligned. Each atom acts like a tiny bar magnet. Domains are small and randomly oriented in an unmagnetized ferromagnetic object. In response to an external magnetic field, the domains may grow to millimeter size, aligning themselves, as shown in Figure 7(b). This induced magnetization can be made permanent if the material is heated and then cooled, or simply tapped in the presence of other magnets.
Conversely, a permanent magnet can be demagnetized by hard blows or by heating it in the absence of another magnet. Increased thermal motion at higher temperature can disrupt and randomize the orientation and size of the domains. There is a well-defined temperature for ferromagnetic materials, which is called the Curie temperature, above which they cannot be magnetized. The Curie temperature for iron is 1,043 K (770 ), which is well above room temperature. There are several elements and alloys that have Curie temperatures much lower than room temperature and are ferromagnetic only below those temperatures.
We know that like magnetic poles repel and unlike poles attract. See if you can show this for two refrigerator magnets. Will the magnets stick if you turn them over? Why do they stick to the refrigerator door anyway? What can you say about the magnetic properties of the refrigerator door near the magnet? Do refrigerator magnets stick to metal or plastic spoons? Do they stick to all types of metal?
Holding a magnetic close to an unmagnetized ferromagnetic material will magnetically polarize the ferromagnetic material, causing the atomic magnetic dipoles to orient towards the external magnet. This is similar to electric polarization. Thus, the ferromagnetic material becomes magnetized in the presence of the external magnet, and the two magnets attract each other. For a magnet to stick to the refrigerator door, the door must contain some ferromagnetic material. Magnets will stick to ferrous spoons, for example spoons with iron in them, but not to nonferrous spoons, such as spoons made from Al or Ag, and will not stick to a magnet. Magnets will also not stick to plastic spoons.
You have one magnet with the north and south poles labeled. How can you use this magnet to identify the north and south poles of other magnets?
- If the north pole of a known magnet is repelled by a pole of an unknown magnet on bringing them closer, that pole of unknown magnet is its north pole; otherwise, it is its south pole.
- If the north pole of known magnet is attracted to a pole of an unknown magnet on bringing them closer, that pole of unknown magnet is its north pole; otherwise, it is its south pole.
We have thus seen that forces can be applied between magnets and between magnets and ferromagnetic materials without any contact between the objects. This is reminiscent of electric forces, which also act over distances. Electric forces are described using the concept of the electric field, which is a force field around electric charges that describes the force on any other charge placed in the field. Likewise, a magnet creates a magnetic field around it that describes the force exerted on other magnets placed in the field. As with electric fields, the pictorial representation of magnetic field lines is very useful for visualizing the strength and direction of the magnetic field.
As shown in Figure 20.9, the direction of magnetic field lines is defined to be the direction in which the north pole of a compass needle points. If you place a compass near the north pole of a magnet, the north pole of the compass needle will be repelled and point away from the magnet. Thus, the magnetic field lines point away from the north pole of a magnet and toward its south pole.
Magnetic field lines can be mapped out using a small compass. The compass is moved from point to point around a magnet, and at each point, a short line is drawn in the direction of the needle, as shown in Figure 20.10. Joining the lines together then reveals the path of the magnetic field line. Another way to visualize magnetic field lines is to sprinkle iron filings around a magnet. The filings will orient themselves along the magnetic field lines, forming a pattern such as that shown on the right in Figure 20.10.
Using a Compass to Map Out the Magnetic Field
This simulation presents you with a bar magnet and a small compass. Begin by dragging the compass around the bar magnet to see in which direction the magnetic field points. Note that the strength of the magnetic field is represented by the brightness of the magnetic field icons in the grid pattern around the magnet. Use the magnetic field meter to check the field strength at several points around the bar magnet. You can also flip the polarity of the magnet, or place Earth on the image to see how the compass orients itself.
With the slider at the top right of the simulation window, set the magnetic field strength to 100 percent . Now use the magnetic field meter to answer the following question: Near the magnet, where is the magnetic field strongest and where is it weakest? Don’t forget to check inside the bar magnet.
- The magnetic field is strongest at the center and weakest between the two poles just outside the bar magnet. The magnetic field lines are densest at the center and least dense between the two poles just outside the bar magnet.
- The magnetic field is strongest at the center and weakest between the two poles just outside the bar magnet. The magnetic field lines are least dense at the center and densest between the two poles just outside the bar magnet.
- The magnetic field is weakest at the center and strongest between the two poles just outside the bar magnet. The magnetic field lines are densest at the center and least dense between the two poles just outside the bar magnet.
- The magnetic field is weakest at the center and strongest between the two poles just outside the bar magnet and the magnetic field lines are least dense at the center and densest between the two poles just outside the bar magnet.
When two magnets are brought close together, the magnetic field lines are perturbed, just as happens for electric field lines when two electric charges are brought together. Bringing two north poles together—or two south poles—will cause a repulsion, and the magnetic field lines will bend away from each other. This is shown in Figure 20.11, which shows the magnetic field lines created by the two closely separated north poles of a bar magnet. When opposite poles of two magnets are brought together, the magnetic field lines join together and become denser between the poles. This situation is shown in Figure 20.11.
Like the electric field, the magnetic field is stronger where the lines are denser. Thus, between the two north poles in Figure 20.11, the magnetic field is very weak because the density of the magnetic field is almost zero. A compass placed at that point would essentially spin freely if we ignore Earth’s magnetic field. Conversely, the magnetic field lines between the north and south poles in Figure 20.11 are very dense, indicating that the magnetic field is very strong in this region. A compass placed here would quickly align with the magnetic field and point toward the south pole on the right.
The density of the magnetic field lines in Figure 20.11 indicates the magnitude of the force that would be applied to a small test magnet placed in this field. The density does not indicate the force between the two magnets that create the field. The magnitude of the force between the two magnets is the same in both cases in Figure 20.11. This can be understood by imagining that you place one of the magnets in the field of the other magnet. This situation is symmetrical: The magnetic fields look the same—other than direction—for both situations shown in Figure 20.11. Because the magnets are of equal strength, they perturb the magnetic field of the opposite magnet, which is why the magnetic field must be probed by a small magnetic such as, a compass.
Note that magnets are not the only things that make magnetic fields. Early in the nineteenth century, people discovered that electrical currents cause magnetic effects. The first significant observation was by the Danish scientist Hans Christian Oersted (1777–1851), who found that a compass needle was deflected by a current-carrying wire. This was the first significant evidence that the movement of electric charges had any connection with magnets. An electromagnet is a device that uses electric current to make a magnetic field. These temporarily induced magnets are called electromagnets. Electromagnets are employed for everything from a wrecking yard crane that lifts scrapped cars to controlling the beam of a 90-km-circumference particle accelerator to the magnets in medical-imaging machines (see Figure 20.12).
The magnetic field created by an electric current in a long straight wire is shown in Figure 20.13. The magnetic field lines form concentric circles around the wire. The direction of the magnetic field can be determined using the right-hand rule. This rule shows up in several places in the study of electricity and magnetism. Applied to a straight current-carrying wire, the right-hand rule says that, with your right thumb pointed in the direction of the current, the magnetic field will be in the direction in which your right fingers curl, as shown in Figure 20.13. If the wire is very long compared to the distance r from the wire, the strength B of the magnetic field is given by
where I is the current in the wire in amperes. The SI unit for magnetic field is the tesla (T). The symbol —read “mu-zero”—is a constant called the “permeability of free space” and is given by
Magnetic Field Due to an Electric Current
This video describes the magnetic field created by a straight current-carrying wire. It goes over the right-hand rule to determine the direction of the magnetic field, and presents and discusses the formula for the strength of the magnetic field due to a straight current-carrying wire.
A long straight wire is placed on a table top and electric current flows through the wire from right to left. If you look at the wire end-on from the left end, does the magnetic field go clockwise or counterclockwise?
- By pointing your right-hand thumb in the direction opposite of current, the right-hand fingers will curl counterclockwise, so the magnetic field will be in the counterclockwise direction.
- By pointing your right-hand thumb in the direction opposite of current, the right-hand fingers will curl clockwise, so the magnetic field will be in the clockwise direction.
- By pointing your right-hand thumb in the direction of current, the right-hand fingers will curl counterclockwise, so the magnetic field will be in the counterclockwise direction.
- By pointing your right-hand thumb in the direction of current, the right-hand fingers will curl clockwise, so the magnetic field will be in the clockwise direction.
Now imagine winding a wire around a cylinder with the cylinder then removed. The result is a wire coil, as shown in Figure 20.14. This is called a solenoid. To find the direction of the magnetic field produced by a solenoid, apply the right-hand rule to several points on the coil. You should be able to convince yourself that, inside the coil, the magnetic field points from left to right. In fact, another application of the right-hand rule is to curl your right-hand fingers around the coil in the direction in which the current flows. Your right thumb then points in the direction of the magnetic field inside the coil: left to right in this case.
Each loop of wire contributes to the magnetic field inside the solenoid. Because the magnetic field lines must form closed loops, the field lines close the loop outside the solenoid. The magnetic field lines are much denser inside the solenoid than outside the solenoid. The resulting magnetic field looks very much like that of a bar magnet, as shown in Figure 20.15. The magnetic field strength deep inside a solenoid is
where N is the number of wire loops in the solenoid and is the length of the solenoid.
Use this simulation to visualize the magnetic field made from a solenoid. Be sure to click on the tab that says Electromagnet. You can drive AC or DC current through the solenoid by choosing the appropriate current source. Use the field meter to measure the strength of the magnetic field and then change the number of loops in the solenoid to see how this affects the magnetic field strength.
There will be no change in magnetic field strength when number of loops reduces from four to two.
The magnetic field strength decreases to half of its initial value when number of loops reduces from four to two.
The magnetic field strength increases to twice of its initial value when number of loops reduces from four to two.
The magnetic field strength increases to four times of its initial value when number of loops reduces from four to two.
If a moving electric charge, that is electric current, produces a magnetic field that can exert a force on another magnet, then the reverse should be true by Newton’s third law. In other words, a charge moving through the magnetic field produced by another object should experience a force—and this is exactly what we find. As a concrete example, consider Figure 20.16, which shows a charge q moving with velocity through a magnetic field between the poles of a permanent magnet. The magnitude F of the force experienced by this charge is
where is the angle between the velocity of the charge and the magnetic field.
The direction of the force may be found by using another version of the right-hand rule: First, we join the tails of the velocity vector and a magnetic field vector, as shown in step 1 of Figure 20.16. We then curl our right fingers from to , as indicated in step (2) of Figure 20.16. The direction in which the right thumb points is the direction of the force. For the charge in Figure 20.16, we find that the force is directed into the page.
Note that the factor in the equation means that zero force is applied on a charge that moves parallel to a magnetic field because and . The maximum force a charge can experience is when it moves perpendicular to the magnetic field, because and
Instead of a single charge moving through a magnetic field, consider now a steady current I moving through a straight wire. If we place this wire in a uniform magnetic field, as shown in Figure 20.19, what is the force on the wire or, more precisely, on the electrons in the wire? An electric current involves charges that move. If the charges q move a distance in a time t, then their speed is Inserting this into the equation gives
The factor q/t in this equation is nothing more than the current in the wire. Thus, using , we obtain
This equation gives the force on a straight current-carrying wire of length in a magnetic field of strength B. The angle is the angle between the current vector and the magnetic field vector. Note that is the length of wire that is in the magnetic field and for which as shown in Figure 20.19.
The direction of the force is determined in the same way as for a single charge. Curl your right fingers from the vector for I to the vector for B, and your right thumb will point in the direction of the force on the wire. For the wire shown in Figure 20.19, the force is directed into the page.
Throughout this section, you may have noticed the symmetries between magnetic effects and electric effects. These effects all fall under the umbrella of electromagnetism, which is the study of electric and magnetic phenomena. We have seen that electric charges produce electric fields, and moving electric charges produce magnetic fields. A magnetic dipole produces a magnetic field, and, as we will see in the next section, moving magnetic dipoles produce an electric field. Thus, electricity and magnetism are two intimately related and symmetric phenomena.
Trajectory of Electron in Magnetic Field
A proton enters a region of constant magnetic field, as shown in Figure 20.20. The magnetic field is coming out of the page. If the electron is moving at and the magnetic field strength is 2.0 T, what is the magnitude and direction of the force on the proton?
Use the equation to find the magnitude of the force on the proton. The angle between the magnetic field vectors and the velocity vector of the proton is The direction of the force may be found by using the right-hand rule.
The charge of the proton is . Entering this value and the given velocity and magnetic field strength into the equation gives
To find the direction of the force, first join the velocity vector end to end with the magnetic field vector, as shown in Figure 20.21. Now place your right hand so that your fingers point in the direction of the velocity and curl them upward toward the magnetic field vector. The force is in the direction in which your thumb points. In this case, the force is downward in the plane of the paper in the -direction, as shown in Figure 20.21.
Thus, combining the magnitude and the direction, we find that the force on the proton is
This seems like a very small force. However, the proton has a mass of , so its acceleration is , or about ten thousand billion times the acceleration due to gravity!
We found that the proton’s initial acceleration as it enters the magnetic field is downward in the plane of the page. Notice that, as the proton accelerates, its velocity remains perpendicular to the magnetic field, so the magnitude of the force does not change. In addition, because of the right-hand rule, the direction of the force remains perpendicular to the velocity. This force is nothing more than a centripetal force: It has a constant magnitude and is always perpendicular to the velocity. Thus, the magnitude of the velocity does not change, and the proton executes circular motion. The radius of this circle may be found by using the kinematics relationship.
The path of the proton in the magnetic field is shown in Figure 20.22.
Wire with Current in Magnetic Field
Now suppose we run a wire through the uniform magnetic field from the previous example, as shown. If the wire carries a current of 1.0 A in the -direction, and the region with magnetic field is 4.0 cm long, what is the force on the wire?
Use equation to find the magnitude of the force on the wire. The length of the wire inside the magnetic field is 4.0 cm, and the angle between the current direction and the magnetic field direction is 90°. To find the direction of the force, use the right-hand rule as explained just after the equation
Insert the given values into equation to find the magnitude of the force
To find the direction of the force, begin by placing the current vector end to end with a vector for the magnetic field. The result is as shown in the figure in the previous Worked Example with replaced by . Curl your right-hand fingers from to and your right thumb points down the page, again as shown in the figure in the previous Worked Example. Thus, the direction of the force is in the -direction. The complete force is thus .
The direction of the force is the same as the initial direction of the force was in the previous example for a proton. However, because the current in a wire is confined to a wire, the direction in which the charges move does not change. Instead, the entire wire accelerates in the -direction. The force on a current-carrying wire in a magnetic field is the basis of all electrical motors, as we will see in the upcoming sections.
What is the magnitude of the force on an electron moving at 1.0 × 106 m/s perpendicular to a 1.0-T magnetic field?
- 0.8 × 10–13 N
- 1.6 × 10–14 N
- 0.8 × 10–14 N
- 1.6 × 10–13 N
A straight 10 cm wire carries 0.40 A and is oriented perpendicular to a magnetic field. If the force on the wire is 0.022 N, what is the magnitude of the magnetic field?
- 1.10 × 10–2 T
- 0.55 × 10–2 T
- 1.10 T
- 0.55 T
Check Your Understanding
Either the south pole of magnet 1 is closer to the north pole of magnet 2 or the north pole of magnet 1 is closer to the south pole of magnet 2.
Either the south poles of both the magnet 1 and magnet 2 are closer to each other or the north poles of both the magnet 1 and magnet 2 are closer to each other.
Not enough information is given to draw any conclusion about the orientation of the magnets.
Describe methods to demagnetize a ferromagnet.
- by cooling, heating, or submerging in water
- by heating, hammering, and spinning it in external magnetic field
- by hammering, heating, and rubbing with cloth
- by cooling, submerging in water, or rubbing with cloth
The directional lines present inside and outside the magnetic material that indicate the magnitude and direction of the magnetic force.
The directional lines present inside and outside the magnetic material that indicate the magnitude of the magnetic force.
The directional lines present inside the magnetic material that indicate the magnitude and the direction of the magnetic force.
The directional lines present outside the magnetic material that indicate the magnitude and the direction of the magnetic force.