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Q & A: Maxwell’s Laws

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
HOW ARE ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM RELATED?
- Anonymous
A:
That's a great question. Here's some of the ways. When an electric current flows, it makes a magnetic field around it. A magnetic field is one that can push, pull or twist magnets. When a magnet moves, it makes an electric field. An electric field pushes or pulls charged particles, like electrons. Most big electric generators work by something like using big steam engines or flowing water to move magnets near big coils of wire, stirring up electrical currents in the wires.


There are even deeper connections, discovered by Michael Faraday and James Maxwell in the 1800's. These show that the electric and magnetic fields are connected even without and charges or magnets around, and that let's waves of electromagnetism travel through space, like light or radio waves. In 1905 Albert Einstein discovered even deeper connections, but we have to save something for when you go to college.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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