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Magnetic field from two wires

  1. Oct 15, 2014 #1
    You have two wires an equal distance above and below the x axis the top wire comes out of the page and the bottom wire goes into the page.
    Finally, consider point X (not shown in the diagram) located on the x axis very far away in the positive x direction. Which of the vectors best represents the direction of the magnetic field created at point X by wire 1 alone?
    Hey guys I am confused on this problem I know the answer is the field will point in the positive Y direction, but I do not understand why.
    I thought it would point in the positive x direction because of the right hand rule.
    How does the fact that the particles are at a very far distance effect the direction of the magnetic field since the direction of the field would not change it would just become weaker. Right?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 16, 2014 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Sketch a set of axes, and mark on it the top wire, and point X far to the right.
  4. Oct 16, 2014 #3
    I've done this. From this and using the right hand rule the magnetic field would point along the x axis. How does the fact that it is very far away on the axis change the direction of the magnetic field?
  5. Oct 16, 2014 #4


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    Homework Helper

    What is the direction of propagation? What direction is the electric field?
    The way I understand this, your E field will be oriented with the wire (+Z), and propagation is in the (+X) direction.
  6. Oct 16, 2014 #5
    Well the direction of propagation to my understanding is to the right in the +X direction. However, the answer is that it propagates in the +Y direction from the top wire which I do not understand.
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