Magnetic Fields

zylksboomElectronics - Devices

Oct 18, 2013 (4 years and 9 months ago)



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When in a deli shop, one is always interested in the price per pound of
the items so that one can determine the price for a given amount of an
item. In the same manner, if yo
u knew the electric force per unit
charge at points in
space due to a charge configuration or the
magnetic force per unit pole or moving charge, then one can easily
calculate the electric force or magnetic force an object would
experience at different loca

The electric force per unit charge is a vector quantity known as the
electric field (E). By determining the electric force on a test charge at
different points around a charge configuration, the electric field can be
pped,” or graphically repres
ented by lines of force. The lines of
force are used to visualize the magnitude and direction of an electric
If a positive test charge is released in the vicinity of a stationary
positive charge, it will move along the line of force in a direction a
from the source charge.

Since a free charge moves in an electric field by the action of the
electric force, then work (Work = F d) is done by the field in moving
the charge from one point to another. The work per unit charge (W/q
in moving the charg
e between two points in an electric field is called
the potential difference

between the two points

If a charge is
moved from A to B along a path at right angles of perpendicular to the
line of force, no work is done since there is no force component along
the path. Thus the potential difference is zero, and the potential at A
potential at B. The potential is then constant along paths perpendicular
to the field lines. These paths are equipotentials (in three dimensions,
it is an equipotential surface).

The electric field will be mapped experimentally by deter
mining the
tential lines using the galvanometer as the detector. When no
current flows between two probe points (zero deflection on the
galvanometer) there is no potential difference between the points (


= 0),
and the points are on an equipotential

Similarly, the magnetic force per unit pole is a vector quantity known
as the magnetic field (B).
The direction of the force at a particular
location is that of the force experienced by a north magnetic pol

The magnetic field is mapped using the north pole of the magnetic
needle of a compass. The torque on the compass needle causes the
needle to line up with the field and the north pole of the compass
points in the d
irection of the field. If the co
mpass i
s moves in the
direction indicated by the north pole, the path of the compass traces
out the field line.

In this experiment, you will
be investigating the concept of the fields.
Electric and magnetic fields will be
mapped around different


Through this experiment, students will
be able to


Describe the concept of a force field


Explain lines of force and its physical interpretations


Distinguish between lines of force and equipotentials and their
relationships with work


Magnetic Field:

Two bar magnets


One horse shoe


Electric Field

Mapping Board and probe

Conducting plates

Connecting wires


Power supply



What is an electric field and what does it t
ell you?

What are “ lines of forces”?

3. What are equipotentials and how are they experimentally
determined? What is their relationship to the electric field lines?

4. What is a magnetic field, how is it defined, and what does it tell


Part I: Magnetic Field

Place the magnets for each arrangement (below) on a piece of paper.
Draw an outline of each arrangement on the paper and label the poles.
Using the compass, trace out on the paper the magnetic field lines as
smooth curves.
The co
mpass needle will align with the magnetic field.
So to trace out the field lines,
the compass near the N pole
of the magnet, then put
a dot on the paper on both poles of the
compass needle. (The front end will be the N pole of the compass
e and the back end will be the S end.) Then move the compass,
so that the S pole of the compass needle will coincide with N dot
drawn earlier. Place another dot on the new N end. Continue moving
the compass
until the line ends on the S pole

of the magnets
on the
(See diagram below.)
Draw enough field lines so that

pattern can be clearly seen.

Draw the directions of the magnetic field lines (N to S).