Historically, it was very shortly after Oersted discovered currents cause magnetic fields that other scientists asked the following question: Can magnetic fields cause currents? The answer was soon found by experiment to be yes. In 1831, some 12 years after Oersted’s discovery, the English scientist Michael Faraday (1791–1862) and the American scientist Joseph Henry (1797–1878) independently demonstrated that magnetic fields can produce currents. The basic process of generating emfs (electromotive force) and, hence, currents with magnetic fields is known as induction; this process is also called magnetic induction to distinguish it from charging by induction, which utilizes the Coulomb force.
- 10.1: Prelude to Electromagnetic Induction, AC Circuits and Electrical Technologies
- Today, currents induced by magnetic fields are essential to our technological society. The ubiquitous generator—found in automobiles, on bicycles, in nuclear power plants, and so on—uses magnetism to generate current. Other devices that use magnetism to induce currents include pickup coils in electric guitars, transformers of every size, certain microphones, airport security gates, and damping mechanisms on sensitive chemical balances.
- 10.2: Induced Emf and Magnetic Flux
- Any change in magnetic flux Φ induces an emf—the process is defined to be electromagnetic induction.
- 10.3: Faraday’s Law of Induction- Lenz’s Law
- Faraday’s experiments showed that the emf induced by a change in magnetic flux depends on only a few factors. First, emf is directly proportional to the change in flux ΔΦ. Second, emf is greatest when the change in time Δt is smallest—that is, emf is inversely proportional to Δt . Finally, if a coil has N turns, an emf will be produced that is Ntimes greater than for a single coil, so that emf is directly proportional to N.
- 10.4: Motional Emf
- As we have seen, any change in magnetic flux induces an emf opposing that change—a process known as induction. Motion is one of the major causes of induction. For example, a magnet moved toward a coil induces an emf, and a coil moved toward a magnet produces a similar emf. In this section, we concentrate on motion in a magnetic field that is stationary relative to the Earth, producing what is loosely called motional emf.
- 10.5: Electric Generators
- Electric generators induce an emf by rotating a coil in a magnetic field, as briefly discussed in "Induced Emf and Magnetic Flux." We will now explore generators in more detail. Consider the following example.
Thumbnail: Small cheap inductor. (CC-SA-BY 3.0; FDominec).