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Producing and Measuring Elecrical Quantities
Magnetism and Electromagnetism

Section 2-5 Magnetic Effects


MAGNETIC FLUX. The total number of magnetic lines of force leaving or entering the pole of a magnet is called MAGNETIC FLUX. The number of flux lines per unit area is known as FLUX DENSITY.

FIELD INTENSITY. The intensity of a magnetic field is directly related to the magnetic force exerted by the field.

ATTRACTION/REPULSION. The intensity of attraction or repulsion between magnetic poles may


be described by a law almost identical to Coulomb,

Law of Charged Bodies. The force between two

poles is directly proportional to the product of the pole strengths and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the poles.

Magnetic Induction

It has been previously stated that all substances that are attracted by a magnet are capable of becoming magnetized. The fact that a material is attracted by a magnet indicates the material must itself be a magnet at the time of attraction.

With the knowledge of magnetic fields and magnetic lines of force developed up to this point, it is simple to understand the manner in which a material becomes magnetized when brought near a magnet. As an iron nail is brought close to a bar magnet (fig. 1-16), some flux lines emanating from the north pole of the magnet pass through the iron nail in completing their magnetic path. Since magnetic lines of force travel inside a magnet from the south pole to the north pole, the nail will be magnetized in such a polarity that its south pole will be adjacent to the north pole of the bar magnet. There is now an attraction between the two magnets.

Figure 1-16.—Magnetized nail.

If another nail is brought in contact with the end of the first nail, it would be magnetized by induction. This process could be repeated until the strength of the magnetic flux weakens as distance from

the bar magnet increases. However, as soon as the first iron nail is pulled away from the bar magnet, all the nails will fall. The reason being that each nail becomes a temporary magnet, and as soon as the magnetizing force is removed, their domains once again assume a random distribution.

Magnetic induction will always produce a pole polarity on the material being magnetized opposite that of the adjacent pole of the magnetizing force. It is sometimes possible to bring a weak north pole of a magnet near a strong magnet north pole and note attraction between the poles. The weak magnet, when placed within the magnetic field of the strong magnet, has its magnetic polarity reversed by the field of the stronger magnet. Therefore, it is attracted to the opposite pole. For this reason, you must keep a very weak magnet, such as a compass needle, away from a strong magnet.

Magnetism can be induced in a magnetic material by several means. The magnetic material may be placed in the magnetic field, brought into contact with a magnet, or stroked by a magnet. Stroking and contact both indicate actual contact with the material but are considered in magnetic studies as magnetizing by INDUCTION.

Magnetic Shielding

There is no known INSULATOR for magnetic flux. If a nonmagnetic material is placed in a magnetic field, there is no appreciable change in flux—that is, the flux penetrates the nonmagnetic material. For example, a glass plate placed between the poles of a horseshoe magnet will have no appreciable effect on the field although glass itself is a good insulator in an electric circuit. If a magnetic material (for example, soft iron) is placed in a magnetic field, the flux may be redirected to take advantage of the greater permeability of the magnetic material, as shown in figure 1-17. Permeability, as discussed earlier, is the quality of a substance which determines the ease with which it can be magnetized.

Figure 1-17.—Effects of a magnetic substance in a magnetic field.

The sensitive mechanisms of electric instruments and meters can be influenced by stray magnetic fields which will cause errors in their readings. Because instrument mechanisms cannot be insulated against magnetic flux, it is necessary to employ some means of directing the flux around the instrument. This is accomplished by placing a soft-iron case, called a MAGNETIC SCREEN or SHIELD, about the instrument. Because the flux is established more readily through the iron (even though the path is longer) than through the air inside the case, the instrument is effectively shielded, as shown by the watch and soft- iron shield in figure 1-18.

Figure 1-18.—Magnetic shield.




David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015