# Direction of motion of conductor (force)

• sam986
In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of force in relation to electromagnetism and its practical applications. It explains how the force is related to the motion of electrons in a conductor and how it can be increased with electromagnets. The conversation also touches on the differences between electric and magnetic fields and how they can be varied independently. It concludes with a mention of the use of electromagnets in motors and the significance of the magnetic effect in these devices.

#### sam986

I can't understand this. When I think of a conductor I think of a cable, and last time I checked they are pretty static. So what is this "force" in practical use?

The force has to do with the motion of electrons within the cable.

mathman said:
The force has to do with the motion of electrons within the cable.
I'm trying to understand EMF, I understand current flow - which is the direction of the flow of electrons, I understand the field which goes from north to south, the only thing I can't grasp is the motion of a conductor, I cannot imagine it in my head, what does it mean?

In an electric motor, current through a conductor (a coil of wire) causes relative motion between the coil and the magnets in the motor.

Alright, I absolutely do not understand what a relative motion means, you guys must be trolling me. If I may rephrase myself, what does the upwards or downwards motion of a conductor in Fleming's left hand rule means?

sam986 said:
... I think of a cable, and last time I checked they are pretty static.

That’s because Fleming’s left hand rule for motors applies to electric motors, not single strips of wire like a cable. The magnetic field around a thin wire is much smaller than the electric field (I think the speed of light times smaller). In general the effect is very small and not noticeable.

With electric motors it’s a different story. The motor consists of electromagnets and the magnetic effect is very much more powerful. To see how this is done just look up electromagnets..

MikeGomez said:
That’s because Fleming’s left hand rule for motors applies to electric motors, not single strips of wire like a cable. The magnetic field around a thin wire is much smaller than the electric field (I think the speed of light times smaller). In general the effect is very small and not noticeable.

With electric motors it’s a different story. The motor consists of electromagnets and the magnetic effect is very much more powerful. To see how this is done just look up electromagnets..
That really isn't true. The basic statement of Flemming's LH rule refers to a single conductor in a magnetic field, with a current running through it. An actual 'Motor' is much more complicated than that but each wire in it will obey Flemmings LH rule. The word "motor" means "causing motion" in this context and not an object you connect up which turns a wheel. (See 'Motor Nerves' in biology)
The Magnetic Field and the Electric field will each depend upon the Current, in one case and Electric Potential in the other. They can be varied quite independently. It is actually much easier to produce a significant magnetic field in a circuit with a single wire and a low voltage battery than it is to produce a measurable Electric field because this would involve a High Voltage Power supply. Otoh, it is fairly easy to produce an electrostatic charge by rubbing a piece of plastic.

sam986 said:
I can't understand this. When I think of a conductor I think of a cable, and last time I checked they are pretty static. So what is this "force" in practical use?
They are static when they don't move. It does not mean they cannot move.
Here is an experiment showing how it moves:

The usual electric cables are not in strong magnetic fields. And besides, they are made from two wires, carrying currents in opposite directions. And most of the time teh current is AC so the force will change direction too fast for conductors to follow.
But with the right conditions, the conductor will move.

sam986
sophiecentaur said:
That really isn't true. The basic statement of Flemming's LH rule refers to a single conductor in a magnetic field, with a current running through it. An actual 'Motor' is much more complicated than that but each wire in it will obey Flemmings LH rule. The word "motor" means "causing motion" in this context and not an object you connect up which turns a wheel. (See 'Motor Nerves' in biology)

Yes, of course there is a magnetic field around a single wire (and Fleming's left hand rule applies) as I indicated by pointing out how much weaker the magnetic field is to to the electric field. I referred him/her to look up electromagnets to see how the magnetic effect can be greatly increased by looping the wires many times, and by wrapping the wires around a ferromagnetic core etc.

sophiecentaur said:
The Magnetic Field and the Electric field will each depend upon the Current, in one case and Electric Potential in the other. They can be varied quite independently.

I did not know that the magnetic field can be increased while at the same time keeping the electric field low. Thank you. I do need to study electricity/electrictonics more.

MikeGomez said:
Yes, of course there is a magnetic field around a single wire (and Fleming's left hand rule applies) as I indicated by pointing out how much weaker the magnetic field is to to the electric field. I referred him/her to look up electromagnets to see how the magnetic effect can be greatly increased by looping the wires many times, and by wrapping the wires around a ferromagnetic core etc.
I did not know that the magnetic field can be increased while at the same time keeping the electric field low. Thank you. I do need to study electricity/electrictonics more.
A 12V car battery will easily put 200A through a single thick wire and it will seriously twitch if next to a similar wire. The Force is BIL, where B is the Field, I is the current and L is the length. To get a similar 'twitch' with two high voltage wires, you need a fair old voltage. Under normally achievable conditions, the Magnetic Motor effect is much more significant - which is why they do not use Electrostatic motors.

nasu said:
They are static when they don't move. It does not mean they cannot move.
Here is an experiment showing how it moves:

The usual electric cables are not in strong magnetic fields. And besides, they are made from two wires, carrying currents in opposite directions. And most of the time teh current is AC so the force will change direction too fast for conductors to follow.
But with the right conditions, the conductor will move.

nasu, that is exactly what I needed to see to fully understand emf, a picture is worth a thousand words. Thank you.

sam986 said:
nasu, that is exactly what I needed to see to fully understand emf, a picture is worth a thousand words. Thank you.
The same can be said about a Mathematical Equation, which will apply in All Cases. Maths is a language that expresses Physical concepts better than other media. People are only suspicious of Maths when they do no 'have the Maths'. It's more than a aid - it's sine qua non, as Julius Caesar was heard to remark.

sophiecentaur said:
The same can be said about a Mathematical Equation, which will apply in All Cases. Maths is a language that expresses Physical concepts better than other media. People are only suspicious of Maths when they do no 'have the Maths'. It's more than a aid - it's sine qua non, as Julius Caesar was heard to remark.
Well, first you need to understand all of those math symbols, get into habit of knowing them and how they interact with each other. I guess it's hard for people to get into math because it takes so much mental resources and leaves so little for the fun of not knowing, this is why people are more fascinated by illusionists rather than mathematicians. Of course I'm not saying that this statement is justified, rather this is just how things are.

sam986 said:
Well, first you need to understand all of those math symbols, get into habit of knowing them and how they interact with each other. I guess it's hard for people to get into math because it takes so much mental resources and leaves so little for the fun of not knowing, this is why people are more fascinated by illusionists rather than mathematicians. Of course I'm not saying that this statement is justified, rather this is just how things are.
Of course. But people seem to think that anyone can do anything, despite their ability or how much effort they put in. No one would think they could be a concert pianist without a load of graft and an equal load of ability. There are so many posts from people who 1. Reject Maths as being unnecessary 2. Want a "Physical Explanation" of some phenomenon. That approach just will not deliver the goods. I have no problem with people not having the Maths - just the attitude that, in fact, belittles the whole of Science to the level of a video simulation.
I like the "illusionists" statement. Spot on!

## 1. What is the direction of motion of a conductor in a magnetic field?

The direction of motion of a conductor in a magnetic field is perpendicular to both the direction of the magnetic field and the direction of the current flowing through the conductor. This is known as the right-hand rule.

## 2. How does the direction of the current in a conductor affect its motion in a magnetic field?

The direction of the current in a conductor determines the direction of the force exerted on the conductor in a magnetic field. If the current is flowing in the same direction as the magnetic field, the force will be in the opposite direction. If the current is flowing in the opposite direction, the force will be in the same direction as the magnetic field.

## 3. What factors affect the magnitude of the force on a conductor in a magnetic field?

The magnitude of the force on a conductor in a magnetic field depends on the strength of the magnetic field, the current flowing through the conductor, and the length of the conductor in the magnetic field. The greater these factors are, the greater the force will be.

## 4. Can the direction of motion of a conductor in a magnetic field be reversed?

Yes, the direction of motion of a conductor in a magnetic field can be reversed by changing the direction of the current flowing through the conductor or by changing the direction of the magnetic field. The direction of the force on the conductor will also change accordingly.

## 5. How is the direction of motion of a conductor in a magnetic field used in practical applications?

The direction of motion of a conductor in a magnetic field is used in various practical applications, such as electric motors and generators. It is also used in devices like speakers and headphones, where the motion of a conductor in a magnetic field produces sound waves. Additionally, this phenomenon is utilized in magnetic levitation technology.