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Verifying Magnetic Force on a Conductor

Physics Education Volume 46, Number 1, ISSN 0031-9120


The laboratory measurement of the magnetic force acting on a straight wire of length "l" carrying a current of intensity "i" in a magnetic field "B" is usually made using current balances, which are offered by various physics apparatus suppliers' catalogues. These balances require an adequate magnet and commonly allow only the measurement of the force when the straight wire is orthogonal to the magnetic field. The availability of low-cost pocket electronic balances with a resolution of 0.01 g and a range of 0-100 g allows verification of the law f = i l x B, where f is the force acting on the straight wire of length "l" carrying a conventional current having intensity "i" and "B" is the so-called magnetic induction vector. In this article, the author describes an experiment verifying the equation (including the angle dependence) using a pocket electronic balance and a low-cost dc power supply giving 6 A maximum current. (Contains 2 tables and 4 figures.)


Ganci, S. (2011). Verifying Magnetic Force on a Conductor. Physics Education, 46(1), 14-16. Retrieved September 17, 2019 from .

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