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The force between current carrying conductors

  1. Apr 27, 2014 #1
    For two long, current-carrying, straight conductors in free space, the force of attraction (or repulsion) per unit length between the wires is the same. That is, the force per unit length experienced by the first wire, is the same as the force per unit length experienced by the second wire. But the force experienced by the first wire as a whole may not necessarily equal the force experienced by the second wire as a whole. Doesn't this violate Newton's Third Law? Where am I getting this wrong exactly?
    P.S. I'm an A level Physics and Mathematics student, so that's how far my knowledge in Physics and Mathematics goes.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 27, 2014 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Why would the two wires not experience the same total force?
  4. Apr 27, 2014 #3
    "long" in this sense means infinitely long.
  5. Apr 28, 2014 #4
    Suppose the wires are not infinitely long
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