1. Magnetism

In order to properly understand the principles of electricity, it is necessary to study magnetism and the effects of magnetism on electrical equipment. Magnetism and electricity are so closely related that the study of either subject would be incomplete without at least a basic knowledge of the other.

Much of today’s modern electrical and electronic equipment could not function without magnetism. Modern computers, tape recorders, and video reproduction equipment use magnetized tape. High-fidelity speakers use magnets to convert amplifier outputs into audible sound. Electrical motors use magnets to convert electrical energy into mechanical motion; generators use magnets to convert mechanical motion into electrical energy.

1.1. Magnetic Materials

Magnetism is generally defined as that property of a material which enables it to attract pieces of iron. A material possessing this property is known as a MAGNET. The word originated with the ancient Greeks, who found stones possessing this characteristic. Materials that are attracted by a magnet, such as iron, steel, nickel, and cobalt, have the ability to become magnetized. These are called magnetic materials. Materials, such as paper, wood, glass, or tin, which are not attracted by magnets, are considered nonmagnetic. Nonmagnetic materials are not able to become magnetized.

1.1.1. Ferromagnetic Materials

The most important group of materials connected with electricity and electronics are the ferromagnetic materials. Ferromagnetic materials are those which are relatively easy to magnetize, such as iron, steel, cobalt, and the alloys Alnico and Permalloy. (An alloy is made from combining two or more elements, one of which must be a metal). These new alloys can be very strongly magnetized, and are capable of obtaining a magnetic strength great enough to lift 500 times their own weight.

1.1.2. Natural Magnets

Magnetic stones such as those found by the ancient Greeks are considered to be NATURAL MAGNETS. These stones had the ability to attract small pieces of iron in a manner similar to the magnets which are common today. However, the magnetic properties attributed to the stones were products of nature and not the result of the efforts of man. The Greeks called these substances magnetite.

The Chinese are said to have been aware of some of the effects of magnetism as early as 2600 B.C. They observed that stones similar to magnetite, when freely suspended, had a tendency to assume a nearly north and south direction. Because of the directional quality of these stones, they were later referred to as lodestones or leading stones.

Natural magnets, which presently can be found in the United States, Norway, and Sweden, no longer have any practical use, for it is now possible to easily produce more powerful magnets.

1.1.3. Artificial Magnets

Magnets produced from magnetic materials are called ARTIFICIAL MAGNETS. They can be made in a variety of shapes and sizes and are used extensively in electrical apparatus. Artificial magnets are generally made from special iron or steel alloys which are usually magnetized electrically. The material to be magnetized is inserted into a coil of insulated wire and a heavy flow of electrons is passed through the wire. Magnets can also be produced by stroking a magnetic material with magnetite or with another artificial magnet. The forces causing magnetization are represented by magnetic lines of force, very similar in nature to electrostatic lines of force.

Artificial magnets are usually classified as PERMANENT or TEMPORARY, depending on their ability to retain their magnetic properties after the magnetizing force has been removed. Magnets made from substances, such as hardened steel and certain alloys which retain a great deal of their magnetism, are called PERMANENT MAGNETS. These materials are relatively difficult to magnetize because of the opposition offered to the magnetic lines of force as the lines of force try to distribute themselves throughout the material. The opposition that a material offers to the magnetic lines of force is called RELUCTANCE. All permanent magnets are produced from materials having a high reluctance. A material with a low reluctance, such as soft iron or annealed silicon steel, is relatively easy to magnetize but will retain only a small part of its magnetism once the magnetizing force is removed. Materials of this type that easily lose most of their magnetic strength are called TEMPORARY MAGNETS. The amount of magnetism which remains in a temporary magnet is referred to as its RESIDUAL MAGNETISM. The ability of a material to retain an amount of residual magnetism is called the RETENTIVITY of the material.

The difference between a permanent and a temporary magnet has been indicated in terms of RELUCTANCE, a permanent magnet having a high reluctance and a temporary magnet having a low reluctance. Magnets are also described in terms of the PERMEABILITY of their materials, or the ease with which magnetic lines of force distribute themselves throughout the material. A permanent magnet, which is produced from a material with a high reluctance, has a low permeability. A temporary magnet, produced from a material with a low reluctance, would have a high permeability.

1.2. Magnetic Poles

The magnetic force surrounding a magnet is not uniform. There exists a great concentration of force at each end of the magnet and a very weak force at the center. Proof of this fact can be obtained by dipping a magnet into iron filings (Figure 1). It is found that many filings will cling to the ends of the magnet while very few adhere to the center. The two ends, which are the regions of concentrated lines of force, are called the POLES of the magnet. Magnets have two magnetic poles and both poles have equal magnetic strength.

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Figure 1. Iron filings cling to the poles of a magnet.

1.2.1. Law of Magnetic Poles

If a bar magnet is suspended freely on a string, as shown in Figure 2, it will align itself in a north and south direction. When this experiment is repeated, it is found that the same pole of the magnet will always swing toward the north magnetic pole of the earth. Therefore, it is called the north-seeking pole or simply the NORTH POLE. The other pole of the magnet is the south-seeking pole or the SOUTH POLE.

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Figure 2. A bar magnet acts as a compass.

A practical use of the directional characteristic of the magnet is the compass, a device in which a freely rotating magnetized needle indicator points toward the North Pole. The realization that the poles of a suspended magnet always move to a definite position gives an indication that the opposite poles of a magnet have opposite magnetic polarity.

The law previously stated regarding the attraction and repulsion of charged bodies may also be applied to magnetism if the pole is considered as a charge. The north pole of a magnet will always be attracted to the south pole of another magnet and will show a repulsion to a north pole. The law for magnetic poles is:

Like poles repel, unlike poles attract.

1.2.2. The Earth’s Magnetic Poles

The fact that a compass needle always aligns itself in a particular direction, regardless of its location on earth, indicates that the earth is a huge natural magnet. The distribution of the magnetic force about the earth is the same as that which might be produced by a giant bar magnet running through the center of the earth (Figure 3). The magnetic axis of the earth is located about 15º //// todo:tk //// from its geographical axis thereby locating the magnetic poles some distance from the geographical poles. The ability of the north pole of the compass needle to point toward the north geographical pole is due to the presence of the magnetic pole nearby. This magnetic pole is named the magnetic North Pole. However, in actuality, it must have the polarity of a south magnetic pole since it attracts the north pole of a compass needle. The reason for this conflict in terminology can be traced to the early users of the compass. Knowing little about magnetic effects, they called the end of the compass needle that pointed towards the north geographical pole, the north pole of a compass. With our present knowledge of magnetism, we know the north pole of a compass needle (a small bar magnet) can be attracted only by an unlike magnetic pole, that is, a pole of south magnetic polarity.

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Figure 3. The earth is a magnet.

1.3. Theories of Magnetism

1.3.1. Weber’s Theory

A popular theory of magnetism considers the molecular alignment of the material. This is known as Weber’s theory. This theory assumes that all magnetic substances are composed of tiny molecular magnets. Any unmagnetized material has the magnetic forces of its molecular magnets neutralized by adjacent molecular magnets, thereby eliminating any magnetic effect. A magnetized material will have most of its molecular magnets lined up so that the north pole of each molecule points in one direction, and the south pole faces the opposite direction. A material with its molecules thus aligned will then have one effective north pole, and one effective south pole. An illustration of Weber’s Theory is shown in Figure 4, where a steel bar is magnetized by stroking. When a steel bar is stroked several times in the same direction by a magnet, the magnetic force from the north pole of the magnet causes the molecules to align themselves.

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Figure 4. Weber’s molecular theory of magnetism.

1.3.2. Domain Theory

A more modern theory of magnetism is based on the electron spin principle. From the study of atomic structure it is known that all matter is composed of vast quantities of atoms, each atom containing one or more orbital electrons. The electrons are considered to orbit in various shells and subshells depending upon their distance from the nucleus. The structure of the atom has previously been compared to the solar system, wherein the electrons orbiting the nucleus correspond to the planets orbiting the sun. Along with its orbital motion about the sun, each planet also revolves on its axis. It is believed that the electron also revolves on its axis as it orbits the nucleus of an atom.

It has been experimentally proven that an electron has a magnetic field about it along with an electric field. The effectiveness of the magnetic field of an atom is determined by the number of electrons spinning in each direction. If an atom has equal numbers of electrons spinning in opposite directions, the magnetic fields surrounding the electrons cancel one another, and the atom is unmagnetized. However, if more electrons spin in one direction than another, the atom is magnetized. An atom with an atomic number of 26, such as iron, has 26 protons in the nucleus and 26 revolving electrons orbiting its nucleus. If 13 electrons are spinning in a clockwise direction and 13 electrons are spinning in a counterclockwise direction, the opposing magnetic fields will be neutralized. When more than 13 electrons spin in either direction, the atom is magnetized. An example of a magnetized atom of iron is shown in Figure 5.

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Figure 5. Iron atom.

1.4. Magnetic Fields

The space surrounding a magnet where magnetic forces act is known as the magnetic field.

A pattern of this directional force can be obtained by performing an experiment with iron filings. A piece of glass is placed over a bar magnet and the iron filings are then sprinkled on the surface of the glass. The magnetizing force of the magnet will be felt through the glass and each iron filing becomes a temporary magnet. If the glass is now tapped gently, the iron particles will align themselves with the magnetic field surrounding the magnet just as the compass needle did previously. The filings form a definite pattern, which is a visible representation of the forces comprising the magnetic field. Examination of the arrangements of iron filings in Figure 6 will indicate that the magnetic field is very strong at the poles and weakens as the distance from the poles increases. It is also apparent that the magnetic field extends from one pole to the other, constituting a loop about the magnet.

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Figure 6. Pattern formed by iron filings.

1.4.1. Lines of Force

To further describe and work with magnet phenomena, lines are used to represent the force existing in the area surrounding a magnet (refer to Figure 7). These lines, called MAGNETIC LINES OF FORCE, do not actually exist but are imaginary lines used to illustrate and describe the pattern of the magnetic field. The magnetic lines of force are assumed to emanate from the north pole of a magnet, pass through surrounding space, and enter the south pole. The lines of force then travel inside the magnet from the south pole to the north pole, thus completing a closed loop.

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Figure 7. Bar magnet showing lines of force.

When two magnetic poles are brought close together, the mutual attraction or repulsion of the poles produces a more complicated pattern than that of a single magnet. These magnetic lines of force can be plotted by placing a compass at various points throughout the magnetic field, or they can be roughly illustrated by the use of iron filings as before. A diagram of magnetic poles placed close together is shown in Figure 8.

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Figure 8. Magnetic poles in close proximity.

Although magnetic lines of force are imaginary, a simplified version of many magnetic phenomena can be explained by assuming the magnetic lines to have certain real properties. The lines of force can be compared to rubber bands which stretch outward when a force is exerted upon them and contract when the force is removed. The characteristics of magnetic lines of force can be described as follows:

  1. Magnetic lines of force are continuous and will always form closed loops.

  2. Magnetic lines of force will never cross one another.

  3. Parallel magnetic lines of force traveling in the same direction repel one another. Parallel magnetic lines of force traveling in opposite directions tend to unite with each other and form into single lines traveling in a direction determined by the magnetic poles creating the lines of force.

  4. Magnetic lines of force tend to shorten themselves. Therefore, the magnetic lines of force existing between two unlike poles cause the poles to be pulled together.

  5. Magnetic lines of force pass through all materials, both magnetic and nonmagnetic.

  6. Magnetic lines of force always enter or leave a magnetic material at right angles to the surface.

1.5. Magnetic Effects

MAGNETIC FLUX. The total number of magnetic lines of force leaving or entering the pole of a magnet is called MAGNETIC FLUX. The number of flux lines per unit area is known as FLUX DENSITY.

FIELD INTENSITY. The intensity of a magnetic field is directly related to the magnetic force exerted by the field.

ATTRACTION/REPULSION. The intensity of attraction or repulsion between magnetic poles may be described by a law almost identical to Coulomb’s Law of Charged Bodies. The force between two poles is directly proportional to the product of the pole strengths and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the poles.

1.5.1. Magnetic Induction

It has been previously stated that all substances that are attracted by a magnet are capable of becoming magnetized. The fact that a material is attracted by a magnet indicates the material must itself be a magnet at the time of attraction.

With the knowledge of magnetic fields and magnetic lines of force developed up to this point, it is simple to understand the manner in which a material becomes magnetized when brought near a magnet. As an iron nail is brought close to a bar magnet (Figure 9), some flux lines emanating from the north pole of the magnet pass through the iron nail in completing their magnetic path. Since magnetic lines of force travel inside a magnet from the south pole to the north pole, the nail will be magnetized in such a polarity that its south pole will be adjacent to the north pole of the bar magnet. There is now an attraction between the two magnets.

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Figure 9. Magnetized nail.

If another nail is brought in contact with the end of the first nail, it would be magnetized by induction. This process could be repeated until the strength of the magnetic flux weakens as distance from the bar magnet increases. However, as soon as the first iron nail is pulled away from the bar magnet, all the nails will fall. The reason being that each nail becomes a temporary magnet, and as soon as the magnetizing force is removed, their domains once again assume a random distribution.

Magnetic induction will always produce a pole polarity on the material being magnetized opposite that of the adjacent pole of the magnetizing force. It is sometimes possible to bring a weak north pole of a magnet near a strong magnet north pole and note attraction between the poles. The weak magnet, when placed within the magnetic field of the strong magnet, has its magnetic polarity reversed by the field of the stronger magnet. Therefore, it is attracted to the opposite pole. For this reason, you must keep a very weak magnet, such as a compass needle, away from a strong magnet.

Magnetism can be induced in a magnetic material by several means. The magnetic material may be placed in the magnetic field, brought into contact with a magnet, or stroked by a magnet. Stroking and contact both indicate actual contact with the material but are considered in magnetic studies as magnetizing by INDUCTION.

1.5.2. Magnetic Shielding

There is no known INSULATOR for magnetic flux. If a nonmagnetic material is placed in a magnetic field, there is no appreciable change in flux—that is, the flux penetrates the nonmagnetic material. For example, a glass plate placed between the poles of a horseshoe magnet will have no appreciable effect on the field although glass itself is a good insulator in an electric circuit. If a magnetic material (for example, soft iron) is placed in a magnetic field, the flux may be redirected to take advantage of the greater permeability of the magnetic material, as shown in Figure 10. Permeability, as discussed earlier, is the quality of a substance which determines the ease with which it can be magnetized.

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Figure 10. Effects of a magnetic substance in a magnetic field.

The sensitive mechanisms of electric instruments and meters can be influenced by stray magnetic fields which will cause errors in their readings. Because instrument mechanisms cannot be insulated against magnetic flux, it is necessary to employ some means of directing the flux around the instrument. This is accomplished by placing a soft-iron case, called a MAGNETIC SCREEN or SHIELD, about the instrument. Because the flux is established more readily through the iron (even though the path is longer) than through the air inside the case, the instrument is effectively shielded, as shown by the watch and soft-iron shield in Figure 11.

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Figure 11. Magnetic shield.

1.6. Magnetic Shapes

Because of the many uses of magnets, they are found in various shapes and sizes. However, magnets usually come under one of three general classifications: bar magnets, horseshoe magnets, or ring magnets.

The bar magnet is most often used in schools and laboratories for studying the properties and effects of magnetism. In the preceding material, the bar magnet proved very helpful in demonstrating magnetic effects.

Another type of magnet is the ring magnet, which is used for computer memory cores. A common application for a temporary ring magnet would be the shielding of electrical instruments.

The shape of the magnet most frequently used in electrical and electronic equipment is called the horseshoe magnet. A horseshoe magnet is similar to a bar magnet but is bent in the shape of a horseshoe. The horseshoe magnet provides much more magnetic strength than a bar magnet of the same size and material because of the closeness of the magnetic poles. The magnetic strength from one pole to the other is greatly increased due to the concentration of the magnetic field in a smaller area. Electrical measuring devices quite frequently use horseshoe-type magnets.

1.7. Care of Magnets

A piece of steel that has been magnetized can lose much of its magnetism by improper handling. If it is jarred or heated, there will be a disalignment of its domains resulting in the loss of some of its effective magnetism. Had this piece of steel formed the horseshoe magnet of a meter, the meter would no longer be operable or would give inaccurate readings. Therefore, care must be exercised when handling instruments containing magnets. Severe jarring or subjecting the instrument to high temperatures will damage the device.

A magnet may also become weakened from loss of flux. Thus when storing magnets, one should always try to avoid excess leakage of magnetic flux. A horseshoe magnet should always be stored with a keeper, a soft iron bar used to join the magnetic poles. By using the keeper while the magnet is being stored, the magnetic flux will continuously circulate through the magnet and not leak off into space.

When bar magnets are stored, the same principle must be remembered. Therefore, bar magnets should always be stored in pairs with a north pole and a south pole placed together. This provides a complete path for the magnetic flux without any flux leakage.

1.8. Voltage Generation With Magnetism

Magnets or magnetic devices are used for thousands of different jobs. One of the most useful and widely employed applications of magnets is in the production of vast quantities of electric power from mechanical sources. The mechanical power may be provided by a number of different sources, such as gasoline or diesel engines, and water or steam turbines. However, the final conversion of these source energies to electricity is done by generators employing the principle of electromagnetic induction.

The important subject to be discussed here is the fundamental operating principle of ALL such electromagnetic-induction generators. To begin with, there are three fundamental conditions which must exist before a voltage can be produced by magnetism.

  1. There must be a CONDUCTOR in which the voltage will be produced.

  2. There must be a MAGNETIC FIELD in the conductor’s vicinity.

  3. There must be relative motion between the field and conductor. The conductor must be moved so as to cut across the magnetic lines of force, or the field must be moved so that the lines of force are cut by the conductor.

In accordance with these conditions, when a conductor or conductors MOVE ACROSS a magnetic field so as to cut the lines of force, electrons WITHIN THE CONDUCTOR are propelled in one direction or another. Thus, an electric force, or voltage, is created.

In Figure 12, note the presence of the three conditions needed for creating an induced voltage.

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Figure 12. Voltage produced by magnetism.
  1. A magnetic field exists between the poles of the C-shaped magnet.

  2. There is a conductor (copper wire).

  3. There is a relative motion. The wire is moved back and forth ACROSS the magnetic field. In Figure 12 view A, the conductor is moving TOWARD the front of the page and the electrons move from left to right. The movement of the electrons occurs because of the magnetically induced emf acting on the electrons in the copper. The right-hand end becomes negative, and the left-hand end positive. The conductor is stopped at view B, motion is eliminated (one of the three required conditions), and there is no longer an induced emf. Consequently, there is no longer any difference in potential between the two ends of the wire. The conductor at view C is moving away from the front of the page. An induced emf is again created. However, note carefully that the REVERSAL OF MOTION has caused a REVERSAL OF DIRECTION in the induced emf.

If a path for electron flow is provided between the ends of the conductor, electrons will leave the negative end and flow to the positive end. This condition is shown in part view D. Electron flow will continue as long as the emf exists. In studying Figure 12, it should be noted that the induced emf could also have been created by holding the conductor stationary and moving the magnetic field back and forth.

2. Electromagnetism

The fundamental theories concerning simple magnets and magnetism were discussed in Module 1, but how magnetism can be used to produce electricity was only briefly mentioned. This module will give you a more in-depth study of magnetism. The main points that will be explained are how magnetism is affected by an electric current and, conversely, how electricity is affected by magnetism. This general subject area is most often referred to as ELECTROMAGNETISM. To properly understand electricity you must first become familiar with the relationships between magnetism and electricity. For example, you must know that:

  • An electric current always produces some form of magnetism.

  • The most commonly used means for producing or using electricity involves magnetism.

  • The peculiar behavior of electricity under certain conditions is caused by magnetic influences.

3. Magnetic Fields

In 1819 Hans Christian Oersted, a Danish physicist, found that a definite relationship exists between magnetism and electricity. He discovered that an electric current is always accompanied by certain magnetic effects and that these effects obey definite laws.

3.1. Magnetic Field Around a Current-Carrying Conductor

If a compass is placed in the vicinity of a current-carrying conductor, the compass needle will align itself at right angles to the conductor, thus indicating the presence of a magnetic force. You can demonstrate the presence of this force by using the arrangement illustrated in Figure 13 and in Figure 14. In both these figures, current flows in a vertical conductor through a horizontal piece of cardboard. You can determine the direction of the magnetic force produced by the current by placing a compass at various points on the cardboard and noting the compass needle deflection. The direction of the magnetic force is assumed to be the direction in which the north pole of the compass points.

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Figure 13. Magnetic field around a current-carrying conductor.
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Figure 14. Magnetic field around a current-carrying conductor.

In Figure 13, the needle deflections show that a magnetic field exists in circular form around the conductor. When the current flows upward (see Figure 13), the direction of the field is clockwise, as viewed from the top. However, if you reverse the polarity of the battery so that the current flows downward (see Figure 14), the direction of the field is counterclockwise.

The relation between the direction of the magnetic lines of force around a conductor and the direction of electron current flow in the conductor may be determined by means of the LEFT-HAND RULE FOR A CONDUCTOR: if you grasp the conductor in your left hand with the thumb extended in the direction of the electron flow (current) (— to +), your fingers will point in the direction of the magnetic lines of force. Now apply this rule to Figure 13 and Figure 14. Note that your fingers point in the direction that the north pole of the compass points when it is placed in the magnetic field surrounding the wire.

An arrow is generally used in electrical diagrams to denote the direction of current in a length of wire (see Figure 15(A)). Where a cross section of a wire is shown, an end view of the arrow is used. A cross-sectional view of a conductor that is carrying current toward the observer is illustrated in Figure 15(B). Notice that the direction of current is indicated by a dot, representing the head of the arrow. A conductor that is carrying current away from the observer is illustrated in Figure 15(C). Note that the direction of current is indicated by a cross, representing the tail of the arrow. Also note that the magnetic field around a current-carrying conductor is perpendicular to the conductor, and that the magnetic lines of force are equal along all parts of the conductor.

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Figure 15. Magnetic field around a current-carrying conductor, detailed view.

When two adjacent parallel conductors are carrying current in the same direction, the magnetic lines of force combine and increase the strength of the field around the conductors, as shown in Figure 16. Two parallel conductors carrying currents in opposite directions are shown in Figure 17. Note that the field around one conductor is opposite in direction to the field around the other conductor. The resulting lines of force oppose each other in the space between the wires, thus deforming the field around each conductor. This means that if two parallel and adjacent conductors are carrying currents in the same direction, the fields about the two conductors aid each other. Conversely, if the two conductors are carrying currents in opposite directions, the fields about the conductors repel each other.

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Figure 16. Magnetic field around two parallel conductors.
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Figure 17. Magnetic field around two parallel conductors.

O8. The "left-hand rule" for a conductor is used for what purpose

3.2. Magnetic Field of a Coil

Figure 15(A) illustrates that the magnetic field around a current-carrying wire exists at all points along the wire. Figure 18 illustrates that when a straight wire is wound around a core, it forms a coil and that the magnetic field about the core assumes a different shape. Figure 18(A) is actually a partial cutaway view showing the construction of a simple coil. Figure 18(B) shows a cross-sectional view of the same coil. Notice that the two ends of the coil are identified as X and Y.

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Figure 18. Magnetic field produced by a current-carrying coil.

When current is passed through the coil, the magnetic field about each turn of wire links with the fields of the adjacent turns. (See Figure 17(A)). The combined influence of all the turns produces a two- pole field similar to that of a simple bar magnet. One end of the coil is a north pole and the other end is a south pole.

3.2.1. Polarity of an Electromagnetic Coil

Figure 13 shows that the direction of the magnetic field around a straight wire depends on the direction of current in that wire. Thus, a reversal of current in a wire causes a reversal in the direction of the magnetic field that is produced. It follows that a reversal of the current in a coil also causes a reversal of the two-pole magnetic field about the coil.

When the direction of the current in a coil is known, you can determine the magnetic polarity of the coil by using the LEFT-HAND RULE FOR COILS. This rule, illustrated in Figure 19 and in Figure 20, is stated as follows:

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Figure 19. Left-hand rule for coils.
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Figure 20. Left-hand rule for coils.

Grasp the coil in your left hand, with your fingers "wrapped around" in the direction of the electron current flow. Your thumb will then point toward the north pole of the coil.

3.2.2. Strength of an Electromagnetic Field

The strength or intensity of a coil’s magnetic field depends on a number of factors. The main ones are listed below and will be discussed again later.

  • The number of turns of wire in the coil.

  • The amount of current flowing in the coil.

  • The ratio of the coil length to the coil width.

  • The type of material in the core.

3.2.3. Losses in an Electromagnetic Field

When current flows in a conductor, the atoms in the conductor all line up in a definite direction, producing a magnetic field. When the direction of the current changes, the direction of the atoms' alignment also changes, causing the magnetic field to change direction. To reverse all the atoms requires that power be expended, and this power is lost. This loss of power (in the form of heat) is called HYSTERESIS LOSS. Hysteresis loss is common to all ac equipment; however, it causes few problems except in motors, generators, and transformers. When these devices are discussed later in this module, hysteresis loss will be covered in more detail.