Magnetic field around a wire

  1. How do you place/define north and south in the magnetic field around a wire with a current running through it?
  2. jcsd
  3. jtbell

    Staff: Mentor

  4. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    You can use the right hand rule:

    The direction of the flux lines points towards north. Note that a single wire has a magnetic field running around it, not through it like a normal magnet. As such, there is no single north or south pole.
  5. The second statement above contradicts the first. How can the flux lines point towards north when there is no north or south pole?

    The first statement is actually incorrect. there is no such thing as a north pole or a south pole for the magnetic field of a single wire. You need a solenoid in order to be able to define poles.
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