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Homework Help: What physical direction is "horizontally to the north"?

  1. Dec 6, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I am in Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism, and am working on review problems.
    I have a potentially very silly question:
    What physical direction is "horizontally north" (and similarly "horizontally south")?
    This seems like a counter-intuitive description to me (90 degrees?) and yet I keep encountering it, for example in the context such as "the wire carries a current horizontally to the south," "slides horizontally to the north." (these two statements NOT part of the same problem)
    Any insight much appreciated!

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2015 #2


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    A current that is horizontally north would be a current that is horizontal (parallel to the ground) and also toward the north.
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