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Magnetic Field: Formula, Properties, Applications and Uses

The magnetic field is simply the magnetic influence that a magnet has on its surroundings. It is a vector quantity that shows the effect of the magnetic force around the magnet. It is also defined as a field passing through space and possessing the magnetic force to move electric fields and magnetic dipoles.

All magnets have two poles, the North and the South Pole. The unique attribute of magnets is that opposite poles of a magnet attract, whereas similar poles have a ripple effect. The attraction of the two poles takes place after reaching a certain distance. A magnet's magnetic field explains the distance in which the attractive pull is felt.

The magnetic field is produced by the movement of electric charges, the particle's magnetic moments, and its magnetic spin. This type of field can be produced in two situations such as:

  • By using a permanent magnet or a horseshoe magnet.
  • By using a straight current-carrying conductor or a current-carrying coil.

The magnetic field of an object is usually depicted by using magnetic field lines, which show the magnetic field's direction, strength, and intensity. It also shows the proximity of the effect of the field produced by the magnets.

This topic is extensively discussed in Class 10 Science Chapter 13 Magnetic effects and magnetic field along with some other fundamental topics like electromagnetism and the difference between magnetic and electric field. 

Properties of Magnetic Field Lines

These magnetic field lines have certain properties, which are stated below:

  • Magnetic field lines have direction and magnitude, which is why it is a vector quantity.
  • These lines are always directed from the North Pole to the South Pole outside the magnet.
  • However, the field lines are always directed from the South Pole to the North Pole inside the magnet.
  • These lines are continuous, closed and curved. They never intersect with each other.
  • The magnetic field is stronger near the poles, where these lines are crowded, and the lines are far apart in the middle of the magnet, where the field is weaker.
  • A uniform magnetic field is represented by parallel and equidistant field lines.
  • The tangent drawn of these magnetic field lines tells us the direction of that particular magnetic field.

When you hold a compass, it always rests in a position such that it points towards the North Pole. However, since opposite poles attract, the North Magnetic Pole is actually the South Geological Pole and vice versa. The Earth’s magnetic field isn’t constant. It keeps varying based on the strength and the location of the poles.

This magnetic field that the Earth possesses is the reason why life is sustainable here. The liquid metals which are present in the outer layer or the core produce an electric current. Due to the Earth’s rotation, these electric currents produce a magnetic field that extends around the planet. Without this magnetic field, humankind would have been exposed to the sun's harmful radiations, and the Earth's atmosphere would've been wiped out into space.

Uses and Applications of Magnetic Field

Due to some of its amazing features, the magnetic field has multiple uses and applications, which are mentioned below:

     1. ectromagnets-

Electromagnets are magnets that have their own magnetic field, which is produced by electric charges or electric current. The greater the number of turns or the wire indicates a stronger magnetic field. These have proven to be very useful in various industries.

     2. DC motor-

A DC motor works on the principles of the static magnetic field. Here, a loop carrying current is placed in the position of the magnetic field. Due to the magnetic field being acted upon it, the loop begins to rotate.

     3. AC motor-

The AC motor works on the principle of opposing magnetic fields. There are coils inside the motor, which after getting energised, produces a magnetic field that induces an electric current in the rotator. This current generated tries to produce its magnetic field, which opposes the magnetic field that caused it. This opposition between the two magnetic fields causes the rotor to move.

     4. Electric generators-

These generators turn mechanical energy into electrical energy by using electromagnetic induction. Here, an electric conductor is moving in a magnetic field. The difference in the voltages across the ends of the conductor moves the electric charges, therefore producing an electric current.

     5. Magnetic Resonance Imaging-

MRI, commonly used in medicine, works on the principles of magnetic field and electromagnetic induction. The images produced by these principles, such as the brain, abdomen, joints, lungs, heart, etc., help analyse the proper functioning of various body parts.

The magnetic field is a rather interesting and intriguing concept with various benefits and applications. They have grown to become extremely popular in every industry and now have highly advanced working mechanisms.

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