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Homework Help: Very simple combining fields question

  1. Feb 27, 2005 #1
    Our book never says how to combine two magnetic fields so can someone just tell me how it works.

    Say we have a 1.2 x 10^-5 T going down and the earths field 5.0 x 10^-5 T going right. Whats the field created by the two.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 27, 2005 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Magnetic fields are vectors. that's why you are told both "1.2 x 10^-5" and "going down". They add like vectors.

    You can represent this as a right triangle with legs of length 1.2 x 10^-5 (downward) and 5.0 x 10-5 (rightward). The sum of the two vectors is represented by the hypotenuse of that triangle. You can find the length by the Pythagorean theorem and the angle by using the arctan.
  4. Feb 27, 2005 #3
    Ah so the magnitude of the field will be the hypotenuse and the direction is from the arctan
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