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Unit 5 Overview: Magnetism and Electromagnetic Induction

8 min readmarch 13, 2023

Riya Patel

Riya Patel


AP Physics 2 🧲

61 resources
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5.0 Unit 5 Overview: Magnetism and Electromagnetic Induction

Unit 5: Magnetism and Electromagnetic Induction is an important topic in physics that explores the principles of magnetism, magnetic fields, and electromagnetic induction.
The unit begins with an introduction to magnets and magnetic fields. You'll learn about the properties of magnets, such as their poles, and how they interact with each other. You'll also explore magnetic fields and how they are produced, as well as how they interact with electric charges.
The unit then moves on to explore electromagnetic induction. You'll learn about Faraday's Law and Lenz's Law, which describe how changing magnetic fields can induce electric currents in conductors. You'll also learn about the principles of electromagnetic waves and how they are related to electric and magnetic fields.
Other topics covered in this unit include the magnetic force on moving charges, the behavior of charged particles in magnetic fields, and the applications of magnetism and electromagnetic induction in everyday life, such as in generators and motors.
By the end of this unit, you'll have a solid understanding of the principles of magnetism and electromagnetic induction, and you'll be able to apply these principles to solve problems and understand real-world phenomena.

5.1 Electric Fields & Forces

Electric fields and forces are fundamental concepts in physics that play a crucial role in understanding the behavior of charged particles and the interactions between them. In this section, we'll explore electric fields and forces in more detail.
An electric field is a vector field that describes the force experienced by a charged particle at any point in space due to the presence of other charged particles. Electric fields are produced by charged particles and are present in the space surrounding them. The strength and direction of an electric field at a given point depend on the magnitude and direction of the charges producing the field.
The force experienced by a charged particle in an electric field is given by Coulomb's law, which states that the force is proportional to the product of the charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. The force is also directed along the line connecting the charges and can be either attractive or repulsive, depending on the sign of the charges.
The unit of electric field is Newtons per Coulomb (N/C), while the unit of force is Newtons (N).
The electric field strength and direction can be visualized using electric field lines, which are imaginary lines that represent the direction and magnitude of the electric field. The lines are drawn such that they point away from positive charges and towards negative charges.

5.2 Magnetic Fields

Magnetic fields are another fundamental concept in physics that are closely related to electric fields. A magnetic field is a vector field that describes the force experienced by a moving charged particle due to the presence of other moving charged particles. Magnetic fields are produced by moving charged particles and are present in the space surrounding them. The strength and direction of a magnetic field at a given point depend on the velocity and direction of the charges producing the field.
The unit of magnetic field is Tesla (T), named after the inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla.
Magnetic fields can also be visualized using magnetic field lines, which are imaginary lines that represent the direction and magnitude of the magnetic field. The lines are drawn such that they form closed loops and are oriented in the direction of the magnetic force on a positively charged particle moving in the field.
Magnetic fields have several important properties, including the ability to exert a force on moving charged particles and the ability to induce electric currents in conductors. The force exerted by a magnetic field on a moving charged particle is given by the Lorentz force law, which states that the force is proportional to the charge, velocity, and strength of the magnetic field, and is perpendicular to both the velocity and magnetic field.

5.3 Electromagnetic Induction

Electromagnetic induction is the process by which a changing magnetic field induces an electric current in a conductor. This phenomenon was first discovered by Michael Faraday in the early 19th century, and is one of the fundamental principles of modern physics.
The basic principle of electromagnetic induction is that a changing magnetic field induces an electric field in a conductor, which in turn can drive an electric current. This is described by Faraday's law, which states that the induced electromotive force (EMF) in a conductor is proportional to the rate of change of the magnetic field through the conductor.
The unit of electromotive force is Volt (V).
A common example of electromagnetic induction is the operation of a generator. A generator uses a rotating coil of wire to cut through a magnetic field, producing an induced EMF that drives an electric current. The basic principle of a generator is the same as that of a motor, which uses an electric current to drive a rotating coil of wire through a magnetic field.
Another important application of electromagnetic induction is the transformer. A transformer is a device that uses electromagnetic induction to transfer electrical energy from one circuit to another. It consists of two coils of wire, called the primary and secondary coils, that are wound around a magnetic core. When an alternating current flows through the primary coil, it produces a changing magnetic field that induces an EMF in the secondary coil. This allows electrical energy to be transferred from the primary circuit to the secondary circuit with minimal loss of power.

5.4 Monopole and Dipole Fields

In magnetism, there are two types of magnetic fields: monopole and dipole fields.
A monopole field, also known as a magnetic charge or magnetic monopole, is a theoretical magnetic field that would be produced by a single isolated magnetic charge, similar to an electric charge. However, no evidence for the existence of magnetic monopoles has been found so far.
On the other hand, a dipole field is a magnetic field that is produced by two opposite magnetic poles, much like an electric dipole is produced by two opposite electric charges. A magnetic dipole is a magnetic object that has two opposite magnetic poles of equal strength separated by a distance, and the strength of the magnetic field produced by a magnetic dipole decreases with distance in the same way as that produced by an electric dipole.
The strength and direction of a magnetic dipole field can be described by its magnetic moment, which is a vector that points from the negative to the positive magnetic pole and has a magnitude equal to the product of the pole strength and the distance between them.
Magnetic dipoles are commonly found in magnets, which are materials that have a net magnetic dipole moment due to the alignment of atomic or molecular dipoles. Permanent magnets are made of ferromagnetic or ferrimagnetic materials that have a high magnetic susceptibility, allowing them to retain a strong magnetic field even in the absence of an external field.

5.5 Magnetic Fields and Forces & 5.6 Magnetic Forces

Magnetic fields can exert forces on charged particles that are moving through the field. The force exerted by a magnetic field on a charged particle is called the magnetic force and is given by the Lorentz force law. This law states that the magnetic force is proportional to the charge of the particle, its velocity, and the strength of the magnetic field. The direction of the magnetic force is perpendicular to both the velocity of the particle and the direction of the magnetic field.
The Lorentz force law can be used to explain the motion of charged particles in a magnetic field. When a charged particle moves through a magnetic field, it experiences a magnetic force that causes it to change direction. The resulting motion of the particle is circular if the velocity is perpendicular to the magnetic field, and helical if the velocity is at an angle to the magnetic field.
The strength of the magnetic force on a charged particle depends on the strength of the magnetic field and the charge and velocity of the particle. A particle with a larger charge or a higher velocity will experience a stronger magnetic force than a particle with a smaller charge or a lower velocity.
In addition to exerting forces on charged particles, magnetic fields can also be used to create torque on magnetic objects. When a magnetic object is placed in a magnetic field, it experiences a torque that causes it to rotate until it aligns with the direction of the magnetic field.
Magnetic fields are also important in the design and operation of electric motors, which convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. Electric motors use magnetic fields to create a torque on a rotating shaft, causing it to turn and do work.

5.7 Forces Review

In this unit, we have explored the concepts of electric and magnetic fields, and how they interact with charged particles and magnetic objects. We have also learned about the forces that result from these interactions.
Electric forces result from the interaction between charged particles and can be either attractive or repulsive depending on the charges involved. The strength of the electric force is proportional to the magnitude of the charges and inversely proportional to the distance between them, according to Coulomb's law.
Magnetic forces, on the other hand, result from the interaction between magnetic fields and charged particles or magnetic objects. These forces are described by the Lorentz force law and are perpendicular to both the velocity of the particle or object and the direction of the magnetic field.
In both cases, the forces involved can be used for a variety of practical applications, including electric motors, magnetic levitation, and magnetic confinement fusion.

5.8 Magnetic Flux

Magnetic flux is a measure of the strength of a magnetic field passing through a given area. It is defined as the product of the magnetic field strength and the area perpendicular to the direction of the field. Mathematically, magnetic flux is represented by the symbol ΦB and is given by the equation:
ΦB = B * A * cos(θ)
where B is the magnetic field strength, A is the area perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field, and θ is the angle between the magnetic field and the normal to the surface.
The SI unit of magnetic flux is the weber (Wb), which is equivalent to one tesla square meter (T·m²).
Magnetic flux plays an important role in electromagnetic induction, which is the process of generating an electric current in a conductor by varying the magnetic field passing through it. According to Faraday's law of induction, the magnitude of the induced voltage is proportional to the rate of change of magnetic flux through the conductor. This is the principle behind the operation of electric generators and many other devices that use electromagnetic induction.
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