Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I have studied electromagnetism in my Physics AP class

  1. Apr 21, 2003 #1
    Hi, I'm new here so I'm not sure how formal this should be:
    I have studied electromagnetism in my Physics AP class at my high school but I have had a question at the back of my head. I don't have a very good physics teacher, and he was unable to explain this to me. My question is why, when charged particles move, do they create electromagnetic fields in concentric circles? My inquiry concerns more why an electromagnetic field is created at all rather than why it is in the form of circles. Thank you.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2003 #2
    No one knows why an electromagnetic field is produced, that's just the way the universe works. That's like asking why squares have four sides... that's just a property of the universe that humans gave a name to.

    When a charged particle generates a field, the field is the same strength in all directions, so the field can be represented as a sphere surrounding the particle. However, a sphere is a somewhat flawed visual image because the field generated actually has infinite range, so the sphere is more representative of the significant or effective range of the field.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook