Interference >>

This unit deals with the effects of electromagnetism – the interaction between electrical charges, currents and magnetic fields. This has proved to be a highly fruitful area of science as it has led to numerous practical applications such as TV’s, radios, motors, generators and the widespread use of electricity in the world. An important scientific application is mass spectrometry, which has been used to weigh molecules, atoms and subatomic particles

14.1  Magnets and Electromagnets
Objectives:
 To be able to draw the magnetic field due to a) a bar magnet, b) an electrical current, c) a coil of wire and d) a solenoid.
 To understand how to increase the strength of a magnetic field.
 To know the direction of a magnetic field.
Magnetism is a weird, mysterious and invisible force. We grow up playing with magnets and using them to navigate (well, at least I did), but how many of us understand how they work? Do they run out of magnetism? How are they made?
Basics first!
Basics first!
As we should all know by now, opposite poles attract, like poles repel. This seems to be awfully similar to the interaction between electric charges, so that is a clue that electricity must be involved somewhere. The magnet produces a magnetic field around it. This is a region of space surrounding the magnet that anything that is susceptible to a magnetism experiences a force. Materials like this are known as magnetic and there are only three elements that are magnetic: nickel, iron and cobalt. The field can be shown by either using iron filings or a compass. A compass has a magnet that is free to rotate and aligns itself with the magnetic field lines, including those of the Earth.
Note the characteristic pattern of the field lines and how they go from North to South. The poles got their names from the direction that they point when freely suspended. Santa doesn't live at the end of a magnet though. Some interesting facts about magnets:
How do we quantify the strength of a magnet or magnetic field?
Not as easily as you would think is the answer. The crudest method, which we use at middle school and IGCSE, is to measure the mass suspended by a magnet. The greater the mass suspended, the stronger the magnet. However, other variables include the size of the magnet and distance between the magnet and the mass suspended. The material that is suspended also could be a variable  iron would experience a different force to say nickel. Would the geometry or surface area change things too? Would a magnet pick up a long, thin object differently to a short, fat object of the same mass? These are all interesting questions.
Physicists got around these problems by defining a couple of variables; magnetic flux and magnetic flux density (which is far more commonly known as magnetic field strength).
Magnetic Flux (symbol is capital phi) is the number of magnetic field lines passing through a certain area (e.g. the pole surface of a magnet). It is somewhat hard to count the field lines though, and how would we define their values? So in reality this variable is only used conceptually rather than quantitatively, especially at AP level.
Magnetic Field Strength, B, (or magnetic flux density) is the magnetic flux per square metre area. The unit is the Tesla, named after the SerboCroatian genius of ac electricity  not the car company....! The tesla is a large unit. A 1.0 T magnet would be very, very strong. The strongest magnets that you may experience in your life are in an MRI machine and they run to about 1.5 T and are strong enough to jiggle the nuclei of your component atoms. They will also wipe your hard drive and credit card strip at 20 paces.... The Earth's magnetic field is of the order of a ten thousandth of a tesla.
Electromagnets
In 1819 Oersted discovered that a wire which is carrying an electrical current deflected a compass needle. He had found that there is a link between electricity and magnetism. This seemingly trivial experiment was only of those discoveries that changed the world. By understanding how electricity and magnetism are interrelated things like electricity could be generated and transmitted on a large scale and even more importantly, used to create motion.
The key part to all this are the wonderful devices called electromagnets.
Students have often made electromagnets and quantified their strength by picking up paperclips. Usually, what they tend to remember most is that if they put too high a current through the wire the plastic covering melts.... oh well, the life of a physics teacher  sigh.
 If you break a magnet in half, you get two smaller and weaker magnets. No matter how small you break the magnet, you will always have a smaller magnet with two poles. The magnetic monopole does not exist. This is a big difference compared to electric charges. This would indicate that magnetism is present at an atomic scale.
 If you heat a magnet over a flame the magnetism is destroyed.
 If you repeatedly bang the magnet the magnetism is destroyed.
 Stroking a magnet repeatedly against a piece of steel or nickel you can create a magnet.
 The Earth has a magnetic field surrounding it, but there is not a magnet inside it. The geomagnetic field is a fascinating area of study and there are still many unanswered questions. Some of the consequences of the field are: navigation  including wildlife migration (how?!), the aurorae, and the reduced concentration of cosmic radiation at the surface.
 The strongest permanent magnets are made from an alloy based on the rare earth element neodymium (ingredients  neodymium, iron and boron) and can lift a thousand times its own weight. These are critical in small, powerful motors, such as those found in hard drives, drones and electric vehicles.
How do we quantify the strength of a magnet or magnetic field?
Not as easily as you would think is the answer. The crudest method, which we use at middle school and IGCSE, is to measure the mass suspended by a magnet. The greater the mass suspended, the stronger the magnet. However, other variables include the size of the magnet and distance between the magnet and the mass suspended. The material that is suspended also could be a variable  iron would experience a different force to say nickel. Would the geometry or surface area change things too? Would a magnet pick up a long, thin object differently to a short, fat object of the same mass? These are all interesting questions.
Physicists got around these problems by defining a couple of variables; magnetic flux and magnetic flux density (which is far more commonly known as magnetic field strength).
Magnetic Flux (symbol is capital phi) is the number of magnetic field lines passing through a certain area (e.g. the pole surface of a magnet). It is somewhat hard to count the field lines though, and how would we define their values? So in reality this variable is only used conceptually rather than quantitatively, especially at AP level.
Magnetic Field Strength, B, (or magnetic flux density) is the magnetic flux per square metre area. The unit is the Tesla, named after the SerboCroatian genius of ac electricity  not the car company....! The tesla is a large unit. A 1.0 T magnet would be very, very strong. The strongest magnets that you may experience in your life are in an MRI machine and they run to about 1.5 T and are strong enough to jiggle the nuclei of your component atoms. They will also wipe your hard drive and credit card strip at 20 paces.... The Earth's magnetic field is of the order of a ten thousandth of a tesla.
Electromagnets
In 1819 Oersted discovered that a wire which is carrying an electrical current deflected a compass needle. He had found that there is a link between electricity and magnetism. This seemingly trivial experiment was only of those discoveries that changed the world. By understanding how electricity and magnetism are interrelated things like electricity could be generated and transmitted on a large scale and even more importantly, used to create motion.
The key part to all this are the wonderful devices called electromagnets.
Students have often made electromagnets and quantified their strength by picking up paperclips. Usually, what they tend to remember most is that if they put too high a current through the wire the plastic covering melts.... oh well, the life of a physics teacher  sigh.
The fundamental concept is that surrounding an electrical current, I, exists a magnetic field, B. This can be shown be either iron filings or a series of compasses. The demonstration for this has to be quick as the effect is weak and needs a high current, which tends to blow the fuses on our power supplies. The direction of the field can be remembered by using the "righthand screw rule". Learn this!
Reasoning: The stronger the current, the stronger the magnet. It can be shown that the magnetic field strength is proportional to the current. The field gets weaker with distance. It can be thought of as spreadover the circumference of the circles  hence the (2pi r) component in the denominator. The magnetic constant, mu_naught, is similar to the permittivity of free space met in the last topic. It is called the permeability of free space and has a defined value. As before, the permeability of air is almost the same. It is a measure of how easily the magnetic field can permeate through a material.
Question: why the 4 pi? 
Then, it took them no time at all to take this further and increase the number of loops to form a flat coil and then a long coil (solenoid).The easiest way to figure out which end of an electromagnet is the north pole is to use the same "righthand screw rule" as earlier. Lay the hand over the electromagnet so that the fingers follow the current around. The thumb points to the north pole of the magnet. There are other methods, but this is the quickest and easiest.

So, what is inside a magnet now that we know that 'bar magnet' type magnetic fields are created by a loop of electrical current?
Ultimately it is the orbital motion of an electron acting as a smallerthanmicroscopic loop of current. A current is a flow of electrical charge, and as the electron moves around the nucleus it is producing a tiny magnetic field.
Ultimately it is the orbital motion of an electron acting as a smallerthanmicroscopic loop of current. A current is a flow of electrical charge, and as the electron moves around the nucleus it is producing a tiny magnetic field.
14.2  Force on a Charge in a Bfield
Objectives:
 To know that electric charge that is moving in a magnetic field is subject to a force.
 To know how to calculate the magnitude and direction of this force.
 To be able to use this force to solve mechanics problems involving the motion of a charged particle in a magnetic field – such as circular motion.
If a charged particle is stationary inside a magnetic field it experiences no force. However, if it is moving it does. This force is mutually perpendicular to the field and the particle's velocity. The force increases if any of the variables of charge, velocity and field strength increase, so therefore the equation is:
This equation may need to be modified if the field is not perpendicular to the velocity. Only the perpendicular component of the field causes the force. Use trig to find this component. As the force is perpendicular to the velocity it does not change the speed of the particle, but pulls it around into a circle. (see Unit 3 ). The magnetic force provides the centripetal force required for circular motion.
This is a staggering useful effect for atomic physics and chemistry as it provides us the means to "weigh" molecules, atoms and subatomic particles. If we know the charge and speed of the particle, the radius will determine its mass.
This is a staggering useful effect for atomic physics and chemistry as it provides us the means to "weigh" molecules, atoms and subatomic particles. If we know the charge and speed of the particle, the radius will determine its mass.
rearrange to yield:
Millikan's oil drop provided the final piece of information for the calculation. The velocity can be determined by the voltage needed to accelerate the charged particles.
LAB  Measuring the mass of an electron
The uniform magnetic field due to a pair of Helmholtz coils that are separated by a gap equal to their radii, which is the normal setup for the fine beam tube, is given by the equation below (don't bother to learn...)
The speed of the electron can be calculated from the voltage applied to the electron gun. putting all of this together we get:
This is the principle behind the science of mass spectrometry.

14.3  Force on a Current Carrying Conductor in a Bfield
Objectives:
 To know that a conductor carrying a current through a magnetic field experiences a force upon it.
 To be able to calculate this force.
 To know some of the applications of this effect.
 To understand the definition of the ampere.
The famous 'motor effect' is the large scale version of the previous force. The current in a wire is the stream of moving electrons. Each one of these experiences a tiny force due to their motion in the magnetic field. Add all these forces together and we have a very noticeable force that can be utilised in any situation where we need electricity to create motion. The direction of the force can be determined using the LeftHand Rule from IGCSE. From basic experiments back in year 11, we have realised that the size of the force can be increased by a) increasing the magnetic field strength, b) increasing the current and c) increasing the length of the wire that is inside the magnetic field. So, the equation for this should not come as a great surprise.... If the current is at an angle to the field the usual sine correction will need to be applied. Only the component of the current that is perpendicular to the field will generate a force.
14.4  Electromagnetic Induction
Objectives:
 To know that a magnetic field moving relative to a conductor will induce an emf (or voltage) across the conductor.
 To be able to calculate the induced voltage in simple situations.
 To be able to calculate the resulting current if a circuit is present.
 To understand the practical applications of this effect.
 To understand the limitations imposed by Lenz’s Law
During the IGCSE course it was demonstrated that electricity can be generated by the movement of a magnet inside a coil of wire. By practical demonstrations in conjunction with the PhET Faraday Lab it was clear that the voltage produced depended on three things:
For the higher level physics we need to take this basic introduction further and a) learn what causes it, b) the mathematics behind it and c) how to determine the direction of an induced current.
 Strength of the magnet
 Number of coils of wire
 Speed and direction of the magnet
For the higher level physics we need to take this basic introduction further and a) learn what causes it, b) the mathematics behind it and c) how to determine the direction of an induced current.
What Causes this "Dynamo Effect"?
If a current is pushed through a motor it spins. Electrical energy is transferred to kinetic energy. However, the opposite is also true. If that same motor is spun by hand it generates electricity. Kinetic energy is transferred to electrical energy. The spoiler to this symmetry is that the current is induced in the opposite direction.
If a current is pushed through a motor it spins. Electrical energy is transferred to kinetic energy. However, the opposite is also true. If that same motor is spun by hand it generates electricity. Kinetic energy is transferred to electrical energy. The spoiler to this symmetry is that the current is induced in the opposite direction.
Other Resources
PhET simulation  EM lab

Learn AP Physics: Magnetism  great website loaded with videos and multiple choice questions
CK12  Electromagnetism  website with large collection of videos

