Electromagnetic Fields I

Authored by: Sadasiva M. Rao , Tyler N. Killian , Michael E. Baginski

The Industrial Electronics Handbook

Print publication date:  March  2011
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781439802793
eBook ISBN: 9781439802809
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter, we shall study two important phenomena, electricity and magnetism, and show how these two phenomena combine to give rise to electromagnetism. Electricity and magnetism have been known to mankind since ancient times. Thales of Miletus, a Greek mathematician who lived almost 600 years before Christ, reported that amber produces sparks when rubbed with silk cloth and attracts fluff. He also noted that a certain natural material, called landstone, has attractive powers. The names electricity and magnetism owe their existence to these discoveries. The word electricity was derived after electron, the Greek word for amber, and magnetism was derived from Magnesia, the place where landstone was found. Over the next twenty-five centuries, scientists, as well as ordinary folk, observed electricity and magnetism in a variety of situations. However, in 1831, Michael Faraday, a British scientist, experimentally demonstrated that these two seemingly different phenomena, in fact, originate from the same source, that is, from charge. Thus, our study of electricity and magnetism begins with charge, and current, which is yet another important quantity that gets generated when the charge is varied with time.

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