Magnetic Field lines

  1. Hello All,

    I was just checking magnetic field lines as in attached figure.

    I am curious to see some gaps between adjecent field lines in the figure.
    Why it is not like a sheath( for example in lighting field) but as lines?

    Thanx in advance

    Abraham
     

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. There is actually a continuum of field lines, but only a finite number of discrete lines can be visualized by this method.

    Others will probably give more knowledgeable answers, but I suspect that the gaps between the lines of iron fillings are caused by magnetic forces between the fillings themselves.
     
  4. sophiecentaur

    sophiecentaur 14,147
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Field lines are only a 'construct' to give an idea what the field is doing. There are alternative ways of showing the field. You can write pairs of numbers on a regular grid (magnitude and direction of the magnetic field vector) or you can draw contours of equal potential - but we are not familiar with that way. The spacing between the lines gives an indication of the strength of the field - close together means strong.
    When you do the trick with iron filings, the tiny bits of iron actually affect the local H field strength and produce a local B field. This means they tend to stick together in chains. It's a stunning demonstration but you shouldn't read too much into what you see - or expect to get a 'measurement' out of the picture.
    The 'holes' in the picture are where the field is too low for the filings to stick together.
     
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