Electromagnetic Induction

Essay by abcdefvn2002 November 2004

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The phenomenon called electromagnetic induction was first noticed and investigated by Michael Faraday, in 1831. Electromagnetic induction is the production of an electromotive force (emf) in a conductor as a result of a changing magnetic field about the conductor and is a very important concept. Faraday discovered that, whenever the magnetic field about an electromagnet was made to grow and collapse by closing and opening the electric circuit of which it was a part, an electric current could be detected in a separate conductor nearby. Faraday also investigated the possibility that a current could be produced by a magnetic field being placed near a coiled wire. Just placing the magnet near the wire could not produce a current. Faraday discovered that a current could be produced in this situation only if the magnet had some velocity. The magnet could be moved in either a positive or negative direction but had to be in motion to produce any current in the wire.

The current in the coil is called an induced current, because the current is brought about (or "induced") by a changing magnetic field (Cutnell and Johnson 705). The induced current is sustained by an emf. Since a source of emf is always needed to produce a current, the coil itself behaves as if it were a source of emf. The emf is known as an induced emf. Thus, a changing magnetic field induces an emf in the coil, and the emf leads to an induced current (705). He also found that moving a conductor near a stationary permanent magnet caused a current to flow in the wire as long as it was moving as in the magnet and coiled wire set-up. Faraday visualized a magnetic field as composed of many lines of induction, along which a small magnetic compass...