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Homework Help: Help involving vector (bio-savart law)

  1. May 23, 2009 #1
    URGENT help involving vector (bio-savart law)

    Hi, I have an exam monday and normally have no problems finding the components of integration, however in this one I don't know why but I do. Current is flowing in the loop in the direction shown, and a is the radius of the loop. The magnetic field from the y-components cancel out, so all that there is is the x component. To find the x component I thought it is [tex]\int[/tex] dbx/r...but according to my textbook and an old exam it is [tex]\int[/tex] dba/r...I have been trying to figure out the logic behind this but I cannot figure it out, we did a problem like this in class and the teacher did it my way....can someone help please?

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  3. May 24, 2009 #2
    Re: URGENT help involving vector (bio-savart law)

    Anybody, please? It's a final and if I don't get this cleared up I'm gonna be really confused :S
  4. May 24, 2009 #3


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    Hi mmmboh! :smile:

    If it was an electric field, the field lines would go straight out, and E would be along r, so you would get the x-component by multiplying by x/r.

    But the magnetic field has loopy field lines, and B is perpendicular to r, so the cosine is of the complementary angle, and is a/r. :wink:
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