Physics Help Forum Oersteds discovery.

 Electricity and Magnetism Electricity and Magnetism Physics Help Forum

 Aug 18th 2017, 11:42 PM #1 Senior Member   Join Date: Feb 2017 Posts: 141 Oersteds discovery. Is my understanding correct? If you place several compasses right next to a current-carrying wire lying on a table, the compasses all point north. This is because the wires carry current and where there is an electric field there is a magnetic field. So this magnetic field causes the compasses to point north.
 Aug 19th 2017, 12:57 AM #2 Senior Member   Join Date: Nov 2013 Location: New Zealand Posts: 534 This video explains the behaviour of electromagnetism quite well. From about 12:48 into the video it starts talking about magnets.
Aug 20th 2017, 03:57 PM   #3
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 Originally Posted by avito009 Is my understanding correct? If you place several compasses right next to a current-carrying wire lying on a table, the compasses all point north. This is because the wires carry current and where there is an electric field there is a magnetic field. So this magnetic field causes the compasses to point north.
No, that's incorrect. Let's say that there's a straight current carrying wire which is normal to a plane in which you places compasses lying flat in a plane. The all of the compasses be located around the point where the wire intersects the plane. Then all of the compass needles will point in the direction perpendicular to the wire, regardless of the direction of magnetic north is.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oersted%27s_law

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