CBSE NCERT Class X (10th) | Science

Magnetic Effect of Electric Current

Electromagnetic Effect

Similar to other effects; electric current also produces magnetic effect. The magnetic effect of electric current is known as electromagnetic effect.

It is observed that when a compass is brought near a current carrying conductor the needle of compass gets deflected because of flow of electricity. This shows that electric current produces a magnetic effect.

Properties of magnet:

  • A free suspended magnet always point towards north and south direction.
  • The pole of a magnet which points toward north direction is called north pole or north seeking.
  • The pole of a magnet which points toward south direction is called south pole or south seeking.
  • Like poles of magnets repel each other while unlike poles of magnets attract each other.

Magnetic field and Field Lines

The influence of force surrounding a magnet is called magnetic field. In the magnetic field, the force exerted by a magnet can be detected using a compass or any other magnet.
The imaginary lines of magnetic field around a magnet are called field line or field line of magnet. When iron fillings are allowed to settle around a bar magnet, they get arranged in a pattern which mimicks the magnetic field lines. Field line of a magnet can also be detected using a compass. Magnetic field is a vector quantity, i.e. it has both direction and magnitude.
Direction of Field Line:- Outside the magnet, the direction of magnetic field line is taken from north pole to South Pole. Inside the magnet, the direction of magnetic field line is taken from south pole to north pole.
Strength of magnetic field: The closeness of field lines shows the relative strength of magnetic field, i.e. closer lines show stronger magnetic field and vice-versa. Crowded field lines near the poles of magnet show more strength.
Magnetic field Due to a Current Carrying Conductor:
Magnetic field due to current through a straight conductor:-
A current carrying straight conductor has magnetic field in the form of concentric circles; around it. Magnetic field of current carrying straight conductor can be shown by magnetic field lines.
The direction of magnetic field through a current carrying conductor depends upon the direction of flow of electric current. The direction of magnetic field gets reversed in case of a change in the direction of electric current.
Let a current carrying conductor be suspended vertically and the electric current is flowing from south to north. In this case, the direction of magnetic field will be anticlockwise. If the current is flowing from north to south, the direction of magnetic field will be clockwise.
Right Hand Thumb Rule: The direction of magnetic field; in relation to direction of electric current through a straight conductor can be depicted by using the Right Hand Thumb Rule. It is also known as Maxwell's Corkscrew Rule.
If a current carrying conductor is held by right hand; keeping the thumb straight and if the direction of electric current is in the direction of thumb, then the direction of wrapping of other fingers will show the direction of magnetic field.
As per Maxwell's corkscrew rule, if the direction of forward movement of screw shows the direction of current, then the direction of rotation of screw shows the direction of magnetic field.
Properties of Magnetic Field:
  • The magnitude; of magnetic field increases with increase in electric current and decreases with decrease in electric current.
  • The magnitude of magnetic field; produced by electric current; decreases with increase in distance and vice-versa. The size of concentric circles of magnetic field lines increases with distance from the conductor, which shows that magnetic field decreases with distance.
  • Magnetic field lines are always parallel to each other.
  • No two field lines cross each other.
  • Magnetic field due to current through a circular loop:
In case of a circular current carrying conductor, the magnetic field is produced in the same manner as it is in case of a straight current carrying conductor.
In case of a circular current carrying conductor, the magnetic field lines would be in the form of concentric circles around every part of the periphery of the conductor. Since, magnetic field lines tend to remain closer when near the conductor, so the magnetic field would be stronger near the periphery of the loop. On the other hand, the magnetic field lines would be distant from each other when we move towards the centre of the current carrying loop. Finally; at the centre, the arcs of big circles would appear as a straight lines.
The direction of magnetic field can be identified using Right Hand Thumb's Rule. Let us assume that the current is moving in anti-clockwise direction in the loop. In that case, the magnetic field would be in clockwise direction; at the top of the loop. Moreover, it would be in anticlockwise direction at the bottom of the loop.
Clock Face Rule: A current carrying loop works like a disc magnet. The polarity of this magnet can be easily understood with the help of clock face rule. If the current is flowing in anti-clockwise direction, then the face of the loop shows north pole. On the other hand, if the current is flowing in clockwise direction, then the face of the loop shows south pole.
Magnetic field and number of turns of coil:
Magnitude of magnetic field gets summed up with increase in the number of turns of coil. If there are 'n' turns of coil, magnitude of magnetic field will be 'n' times of magnetic field in case of a single turn of coil.
Magnetic Field due to a current in a Solenoid:
Solenoid is the coil with many circular turns of insulated copper wire wrapped closely in the shape of cylinder.
A current carrying solenoid produces similar pattern of magnetic field as a bar magnet. One end of solenoid behaves as the north pole and another end behaves as the south pole. Magnetic field lines are parallel inside the solenoid; similar to a bar magnet; which shows that magnetic field is same at all points inside the solenoid.
By producing a strong magnetic field inside the solenoid, magnetic materials can be magnetized. Magnet formed by producing magnetic field inside a solenoid is called electromagnet.

Force on a current carrying conductor in a magnetic field:

A current carrying conductor exerts a force when a magnet is placed in its vicinity. Similarly, a magnet also exerts equal and opposite force on the current carrying conductor. This was suggested by Marie Ampere, a French Physicist and considered as founder of science of electromagnetism.
The direction of force over the conductor gets reversed with the change in direction of flow of electric current. It is observed that the magnitude of force is highest when the direction of current is at right angles to the magnetic field.

Fleming's Left Hand Rule:-

If direction of electric current is perpendicular to the magnetic field, the direction of force is also perpendicular to both of them. The Fleming's Left Hand Rule states that if the left hand is stretched in a way that the index finger, the middle finger and the thumb are in mutually perpendicular directions; then the index finger and middle finger of a stretched left hand show the direction of magnetic field and direction of electric current respectively and the thumb shows the direction of motion or force acting on the conductor. The directions of electric current, magnetic field and force are similar to three mutually perpendicular axes, i.e. x, y and z axes.
Many devices, such as electric motor, electric generator, loudspeaker, etc. works on the Fleming's left Hand Rule.

Electric Motor:-

Electrical energy is converted into mechanical energy by using an electric motor. Electric motor works on the basis of rule suggested by Marie Ampere and Fleming's Left Hand Rule.
In an electric motor, a rectangular coil is suspended between the two poles of a magnetic field. The electric supply to the coil is connected with a commutator. Commutator is a device which reverses the direction of flow of electric current through a circuit.
When electric current is supplied to the coil of electric motor, it gets deflected because of magnetic field. As it reaches the half way, the split ring which acts as commutator reverses the direction of flow of electric current. Reversal of direction of current reverses the direction of forces acting on the coil. The change in direction of force pushes the coil; and it moves another half turn. Thus, the coil completes one rotation around the axle. Continuation of this process keeps the motor in rotation.
In commercial motor, electromagnet; instead of permanent magnet; and armature is used. Armature is a soft iron core with large number of conducting wire turns over it. Large number of turns of conducting wire enhances the magnetic field produced by armature.
Electromagnetic Induction
Michael Faraday, an English Physicist is supposed to have studied the generation of electric current using magnetic field and a conductor.
When a conductor is set to move inside a magnetic field or a magnetic field is set to be changing around a conductor, electric current is induced in the conductor. This is just opposite to the exertion of force by a current carrying conductor inside a magnetic field. In other words, when a conductor is brought in relative motion vis-Ã -vis a magnetic field, a potential difference is induced in it. This is known as electromagnetic induction.
Electromagnetic induction can be explained with the help of Fleming's Right Hand Rule. If the right hand is stretched in a way that the index finger, middle finger and thumb are in mutually perpendicular directions, then the thumb shows the direction of movement of the conductor, index finger shows the direction of magnetic field and the middle finger shows the direction of induced current in the conductor. The directions of movement of conductor, magnetic field and induced current can be compared to three mutually perpendicular axes, i.e. x, y and z axes.
The mutually perpendicular directions also point to an important fact that the when the magnetic field and movement of conductor are perpendicular, the magnitude of induced current would be maximum.
Electromagnetic induction is used in the conversion of kinetic energy into electrical energy.
Electric generator:
The structure of electric generator is similar to that of an electric motor. In case of an electric generator a rectangular armature is placed within the magnetic field of a permanent magnet. The armature is attached to wire and is positioned in way that it can move around an axle. When the armature moves within the magnetic field an electric current is induced. The direction of induced current changes, when the armature crosses the halfway mark of its rotation. Thus, the direction of current changes once in every rotation. Due to this, the electric generator usually produces alternate current, i.e. AC. To convert an AC generator into a DC generator, a split ring commutator is used. This helps in producing direct current.
AC and DC current:
AC Alternate current:- Current in which direction is changed periodically is called Alternate Current. In India, most of the power stations generate alternate current. The direction of current changes after every 1/100 second in India, i.e. the frequency of AC in India is 50 Hz. AC is transmitted upto a long distance without much loss of energy is advantage of AC over DC.
DC Direct current:- Current that flows in one direction only is called Direct current. Electrochemical cells produce direct current.

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