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Electromagnetic Induction

  1. Aug 27, 2009 #1
    I have a conceptual issue with the following:

    Whether a length of metallic wire, if placed in the geographic (a) east-west, and (b) north-south directions, and dropped freely from a height would have an induced emf or not.
    My understanding is as follows:

    The magnetic field of the earth has a vertical and a horizontal component, both of which lie on the magnetic meridian. The horizontal component (in the plane of the magnetic meridian) would further have components along the geographic N-S and E-W directions (i.e. along the length of the wire) depending on the magnetic declination at the given point on the earth's surface. Thus for both (a) and (b) the falling piece of wire would move parallel to the horizontal and vertical components of the earth's magnetic field in the plane in which the wire falls. For emf to be induced, the wire must cut the magnetic field. Since this does not happen in either of (a) or (b), there will be no induced emf in the wire as it falls.

    I would appreciate if the correctness of my understanding could be ratified. Many thanks.
  2. jcsd
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