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B EMF in a straight conductor

  1. Dec 11, 2016 #1
    I just read in my text book that it is impossible to harness electricity from the induced emf if the velocity of a conductor is parallel to its straight length. Let me elucidate further: a magnetic field goes into the page and a straight conductor is moved straight down or up (perpendicular to the field). In such a case, the emf will be there, but it can't constitute a current. Why is this so?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 11, 2016 #2
    The induced emf is the cross product of the velocity and the magnetic field. It is perpendicular to both. In your example you are creating an emf, but it is from one side of the wire to the other, not along the wire.
  4. Dec 12, 2016 #3
    Got it!
  5. Dec 12, 2016 #4


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    The induced emf in a conductor can cause currents to flow in circles and not necessarily round a circuit. This causes losses due to the resistance of the conductor.
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