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Dec25-12, 12:34 AM
P: 537
Hmm..I'm not sure I got what I was lookin for for question 3, but your response to question two is interesting:

The induced magnetic field due to a current carrying wire depends not only the charge of the current (positive vs negative) but also the charge you use as a reference to observe the effects of a magnetic field.
So then, the right hand rule is more of a "guideline" rather than a rule and depends upon the test charge. I'm still wondering why, though, one trajectory (clockwise vs counterclockwise) is preferred over the other. Its the asymmetry that bugs me. That is, if we fire a negative test charge at a positive "target" charge, the trajectory of the negative charge will bow inwards toward the positive charge symmetrically on both sides due to any error in the aiming of the test charge. Similarly, if we fire a positive test charge at a positive target charge, the trajectory of the test charge will bow away from the target charge symmetrically. That makes sense. This asymmetry of the magnetic "loop" around the wire doesn't make sense. What is it about the magnetic field that produces this asymmetry. I'm not finding that by looking at Ampere's Law or any of the Maxwell equations.