Instructional Materials in Physics and Astronomy



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From Study Modules for Calculus-Based General Physics
Copyright © 1975 CBP Workshop, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Reproduction rights granted.


It may surprise you to learn that the conversion of electrical energy to mechanical work in electric motors or stereo loud speakers is seldom done by electrostatic forces (Coulomb's law). Magnetic forces associated with moving charges (currents) are the basis of most electromechanical devices. In analogy with the electrostatic case, we introduce an intermediary called the magnetic field. This module considers the forces on currents or moving charges in a magnetic field; the module Ampere's Law will show how magnetic fields are generated by currents.

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