Question about magnetic flux density B

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Main Question or Discussion Point

Magnetic flux density B is a vector quantity and thus represents a force. However most texts state that the magnetic force is perpendicular to the direction of B, which is tangential to the magnetic field line at any give point. I assume that this magnetic force refers to the Lorentz force. So my question is:

1) What exactly does the direction of force B represent?

2) Would it be correct to state that it is the force B that acts on a test magnet causing it to orient along a magnetic force line?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Magnetic flux density B is a vector quantity and thus represents a force.
This is not correct. Not everything that is a vector represents a force. The B field in particular is not a force.
 
  • #3
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This is not correct. Not everything that is a vector represents a force. The B field in particular is not a force.
Yes, I guess that was implied in the first part of the question. So what does the direction of B indicate?
 
  • #4
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Yes, I guess that was implied in the first part of the question. So what does the direction of B indicate?
It is the direction perpendicular to both the magnetic force and the current.
 
  • #5
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It is the direction perpendicular to both the magnetic force and the current.
I've already mentioned that in my question! I wish to know what this "direction" of B represents?
 
  • #6
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That is all it represents. There is only one such line which is perpendicular to both the force and the current, and the B field direction identifies it. That is all, there is no more or less meaning.
 
  • #7
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That is all it represents. There is only one such line which is perpendicular to both the force and the current, and the B field direction identifies it. That is all, there is no more or less meaning.

Interesting. So, why come up with the concept of direction of the B field at all?

There must be some reason why a test magnet aligns itself in the direction of the B field....
 

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