Magnetic Field

What is the magnetic field?

Magnetic Field of Current

The magnetic field lines around a long wire which carries an electric current form concentric circles around the wire. The direction of the magnetic field is perpendicular to the wire and is in the direction the fingers of your right hand would curl if you wrapped them around the wire with your thumb in the direction of the current.
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Magnetic Field of Current Loop

Electric current in a circular loop creates a magnetic field which is more concentrated in the center of the loop than outside the loop. Stacking multiple loops concentrates the field even more into what is called solenoid.
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A long straight coil of wire can be used to generate a nearly uniform magnetic field similar to that of a bar magnet. Such coils, called solenoids, have an enormous number of practical applications. The field can be greatly strengthened by the addition of an iron core. Such cores are typical in electromagnets.
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Bar Magnet

The lines of magnetic field from a bar magnet form closed lines. By convention, the field direction is taken to be outward from the North pole and in to the South pole of the magnet. Permanent magnets can be made from ferromagnetic materials.
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