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Right Hand Rule Associated Question

  1. Jan 7, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    What will happen to the two wires shown in the diagram (in the attachments)?

    A: nothing will happen
    B: repel each other
    C: attract each other

    The answer is "B", they will repel each other.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I thought it would attract because the current in the two wires are coming in from different directions/ sides signifying that the electric fields are not the same, and if the electric fields are different then there must be an attraction.

    But that was just my guess, could someone tell me why the two wires repel each other instead of attract each other?

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 7, 2009 #2

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    This is a question about magnetic fields, not electric fields.

    Answer these:
    (1) What is the magnetic field created by the bottom wire? (Use a right hand rule.)
    (2) What force does that magnetic field exert on the top wire? (Use a right hand rule.)
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