Electromagnets

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We defined POWER as the RATE of doing work. The actual work or capacity to do work is called ENERGY . Energy can be Kinetic (dynamic), Potential (static), or Radiant (electromagnetic) in nature. Energy, according physical law of "Conservation of Energy", is never lost nor gained. It may be changed from one form to another, but it never just "disappears". Just like in our resistor, we had energy being used which was dissipated as heat. The electrical energy was transformed into heat energy. It didn't disappear, it merely changed form. There are many other forms of energy. Some other forms of energy are light, sound, momentum, and MAGNETISM .

We are all familiar with magnets, and their peculiar properties which make them seem almost magical. A magnet can be used to hold a screw onto a screwdriver, to lift a car, or find your way in the forest. But what is it that makes a magnet do what it does?

Magnet Points North If we take a magnet, and mark one end of it, we can identify one end from the other. If we then suspend the magnet from a string, so that it is free to rotate, we will notice that one end will ALWAYS point toward the north, and that it will ALWAYS be the same end of the magnet that points north.

From this, we have concluded that there is a NORTH POLE and a SOUTH POLE on every magnet. Typically the north pole is marked with an N, and south pole is marked with an S.

Now if we take two magnets with known, marked poles, and bring the North Pole of one magnet close to the South Pole of the second magnet, the two magnets will PULL TOWARD one another until they are connected. If we reverse the experiment, and bring the North Pole of one magnet, near the North Pole of the second magnet, they will PUSH AWAY from each other. Law of Magnetic Poles This effect is called the LAW OF POLES which states:
    OPPOSITE POLES ATTRACT each other, whereas LIKE POLES REPEL each other.


Why is it that magnets act this way? And why do magnets have poles? These are questions which science has found difficult to answer. It is believed, though, that according to the Molecular Theory of Magnetism inside of all magnets, the tiny molecules that the magnet are made of, are all little tiny magnets in themselves, and that they are all lined up in a row.

Unmagnetized Steel
    In a normal piece of steel, for instance, the molecules are arranged in random order, with positive and negative poles scattered about in all directions.
Magnetized Steel
    But when magnetized, the tiny magnetic molecules line up, allowing the whole piece of steel to act like one big magnet.


Magnet and Filings If we place a magnet beneath a piece of paper, and place iron filings on top of the piece of paper, the result would look something like the example to the right. The iron filings will arrange themselves to LOOK like the invisible magnetic force which surrounds the magnet. This invisible magnetic force which exists in the air or space around the magnet, is known as a MAGNETIC FIELD , and the lines are called MAGNETIC LINES OF FORCE . Unshielded
    Now if we take a non-magnetic object, such as a glass rod, and place it within the path of a magnetic field, the lines of force produced by the field would pass right through the object.

Shielded
    If, however, we wrap a magnetically conductive layer around the object, such as a soft iron, the iron will cause the lines of force to bend, and go around the object instead of through it. This is called a SHIELDING effect. 
There are actually 2 types of magnetism:
    1.) Temporary
    2.) Permanent
Soft iron can be easily magnetized by placing it inside a magnetic field. However, as soon as the iron is removed from the field, most of its magnetism fades away. A negligible amount of magnetism is, however, retained. This type of magnet is called a TEMPORARY MAGNET . The small amount of magnetism that does remain is called RESIDUAL MAGNETISM .

Steel or hard iron, which is difficult to magnetize, retains the majority of its magnetism long after it has been removed from the magnetic field. This type of magnet is called a PERMANENT MAGNET . Permanent magnets are generally made in the shape of a bar or a horseshoe. Of the two shapes, the horseshoe type has the stronger magnetic field because the magnetic poles are closer to each other. Horseshoe magnets are used in the construction of headphones. Loudspeakers, on the other hand, generally use a type of Bar magnet.

It has been found that when a compass is placed in close proximity to a wire, and an electrical current flows through the wire, the compass needle will turn until it is at a right angle to the conductor. Since a compass needle lines up in the direction of a magnetic field, there must be a magnetic field around the wire, which is at right angles with the conductor! Compass and Wire Science has discovered then, that wires which carry current have the same type of magnetic field that exists around a magnet! We say that an electric current INDUCES a magnetic field.

If you closely examine the picture on the right, you will find that there are "rings" circling about the wire. These rings represent the magnetic lines of force which exist around a wire which carries an electric current. They are strongest directly around the wire, and extend outward from the wire, gradually decreasing in intensity. You will also note that the compass needle is steady, and not spinning. This indicates that the magnetic field goes in a ring around the wire. It also travels in a specific direction.

Left Hand Rule
    The direction of the magnetic field can be predicted by use of what we call the LEFT HAND RULE . According to the left hand rule, if you wrap your left hand around the wire that is carrying the current, with your thumb following the direction of current flow (thumb points positive), your fingers will show you what direction the magnetic field will turn. Note that when the current flows from negative to positive, it induces a magnetic field in a specific direction, such that the north pole is ALWAYS at right angles with the electrical current flow.
Compass and Wire No matter which way we turn or twist the wire, the left hand rule applies. But what happens if we put a loop in the wire? When the wire is looped, as you will see from the picture on the right, the little magnetic fields that wrap around the wire cross through each other's path. If you use the left hand rule, and follow around the coils of the wire, you will find that the magnetic field acts as if it is running through the hole inside of the loop. (If the loop were a donut, the magnetic field would go through the hole in the donut). Thinking along these lines... if we put a dozen donuts side to side, with a stick going through the holes, the magnetic field would follow the stick. Compass and Wire
    Through experimentation, it was found that if a wire is wound in the form of a coil (coiled up), the total strength of the magnetic field around the coil will be magnified. This is because the magnetic fields of each turn add up to make one large resulting magnetic field. Furthermore, it was found that the direction of the magnetic field could be predicted. The POSITIVE end of the battery is ALWAYS connected to the NORTH POLE of the coil, regardless of whether the coil is wound clockwise or counterclockwise. The coil of wire, because of their properties and capabilities, makes up one of the main components in electronics. For this reason, it has taken on many names, to include:
      ELECTROMAGNET
      INDUCTOR
      SOLENOID
      COIL
Coil Schematic Symbol
    Coils have been given their own schematic symbol. So far we have discussed the schematic symbol for the resistor, lamp and battery. The schematic symbol for the coil is on the left. Note that there can be many variations of this, which will be discussed in more detail later.

There are several factors which determine the strength of a given electromagnet. They are:
    1). The amount of current - the greater the current, the greater the field.
    2). The number of turns - the greater the number of turns in a coil, the greater the field.
    3). The PERMEABILITY of the core.
      The core of a coil is the material that the coil is wrapped around. It can be glass, wood, metal, air, or even a vacuum. If the coil is wound upon an iron core, the strength of the electromagnet is increased several hundred times over what it would be with an air core. We say that iron is more permeable than air. Permeability is the ability of a given substance to conduct magnetic lines of force. It is similar to the effect of conductance with respect to electrical current flow. The standard for permeability is air, which is given a permeability of one. All other substances are compared to air. Some examples of substances with high permeability are permalloy and iron.
To the right is a picture of a " variable " air core coil. This particular coil is adjustable in value, based on a moving " tap " in the coil, which rolls along the outside of the coil as the spindle is turned. Sometimes this is called a " roller inductor ". As the spindle is turned, the coil itself rotates, and the tap moves along the length of the coil, changing its " electrical length ". Of course this is just one example of the many types and shapes of coils that exist. The key thing to remember is that any length of wire that is wrapped up into a coil, has the same electrical properties as a coil.

Just as conductance has an opposite - resistance; permeability also has an opposite - reluctance. RELUCTANCE is mathematically the reciprocal of PERMEABILITY. The unit of measurement for reluctance is the REL or OERSTED , and its symbol is Ö .

Voltage is the measurement for Amplitude of an electrical circuit. Magnetism also has a counterpart for this, which is called MAGNETOMOTIVE FORCE . Magnetomotive force is the force which produces the magnetic lines of force or FLUX . The unit of magnetomotive force is the GILBERT , and its symbol is G . The formula for finding the value of G is as follows:
    G = N x I x 1.26
    Where:
      N = the number of turns in the coil
      I = the current flowing through the coil in Amperes
    There is a catch phrase for N x I which is AMPERE-TURNS
     
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