Skip to main content
\(\require{cancel}\)
Physics LibreTexts

13.0: Prelude to Electromagnetic Induction

5a9146c23ca66b759d3de0926bb0d2b038f3647d.jpg

Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): The black strip found on the back of credit cards and driver’s licenses is a very thin layer of magnetic material with information stored on it. Reading and writing the information on the credit card is done with a swiping motion. The physical reason why this is necessary is called electromagnetic induction and is discussed in this chapter.

We have been considering electric fields created by fixed charge distributions and magnetic fields produced by constant currents, but electromagnetic phenomena are not restricted to these stationary situations. Most of the interesting applications of electromagnetism are, in fact, time-dependent. To investigate some of these applications, we now remove the time-independent assumption that we have been making and allow the fields to vary with time. In this and the next several chapters, you will see a wonderful symmetry in the behavior exhibited by time-varying electric and magnetic fields. Mathematically, this symmetry is expressed by an additional term in Ampère’s law and by another key equation of electromagnetism called Faraday’s law. We also discuss how moving a wire through a magnetic field produces an emf or voltage. Lastly, we describe applications of these principles, such as the card reader shown above.

Contributors

  • Samuel J. Ling (Truman State University), Jeff Sanny (Loyola Marymount University), and Bill Moebs with many contributing authors. This work is licensed by OpenStax University Physics under a Creative Commons Attribution License (by 4.0).