# Magnetic field around a wire

by johann1301
Tags: field, magnetic, wire
 P: 99 How do you place/define north and south in the magnetic field around a wire with a current running through it?
 Mentor P: 11,227 If you mean the direction of the magnetic field, you use the "right hand rule": http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...ic/magcur.html
PF Gold
P: 11,013
You can use the right hand rule: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_h...ith_a_rotation

 An electric current passes through a straight wire. Here, the thumb points in the direction of the conventional current (from positive to negative), and the fingers point in the direction of the magnetic lines of flux.
The direction of the flux lines points towards north. Note that a single wire has a magnetic field running around it, not through it like a normal magnet. As such, there is no single north or south pole.

P: 1,214

## Magnetic field around a wire

 Quote by Drakkith The direction of the flux lines points towards north. Note that a single wire has a magnetic field running around it, not through it like a normal magnet. As such, there is no single north or south pole.
The second statement above contradicts the first. How can the flux lines point towards north when there is no north or south pole?

The first statement is actually incorrect. there is no such thing as a north pole or a south pole for the magnetic field of a single wire. You need a solenoid in order to be able to define poles.

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