The Legacies of Michael Faraday
Today, human life relies much on the discovery of electromagnetic induction by Michael Faraday and his associated work..
Michael Faraday FRS, was an English scientist who contributed to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His main discoveries include the principles underlying electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism and electrolysis.
Faraday's law states: ‘The electromotive force around a closed path is equal to the negative of the time rate of change of the magnetic flux enclosed by the path’.
In simple terms Faraday discovered and understood that,…
When electrical current flows through a wire, a magnetic field radiates from the wire. This circumstance is a natural phenomenon,… as natural as the sun rising in a morning in the east and setting in an evening in the west.
So, when electrical current flows through a wire, the wire acts similarly to a bar magnet and when the wire is wrapped to form a coil of wire, the magnetic field of the coil of wire more readily appears like that of the magnetic field of a bar magnet.
To continue Faraday discovered that when a conductor of electrical energy, say a ‘second’ copper wire ‘passes through’ or ‘cuts’ the magnetic field radiating from the ‘first’ wire, then an electrical current is induced/generated in the second wire.
Conversely, Faraday discovered a further related natural phenomena which arises if a magnetic field ‘permeates onto’ or ‘envelopes’ a conductor of electrical energy then equally an electrical current is induced/generated in the conductor.
The important concepts of Faraday’s discoveries are the actions of the wire/conductor passing through or cutting magnetic fields and a magnetic field permeating onto or enveloping a wire/conductor.
Of the latter the most important concept to appreciate is,…
1. An electrical conductor must be physically moving through a magnetic field to induce an electrical current in the conductor 2. A magnetic field must be growing or reducing in magnetic strength to induce an electrical current in the conductor
So, today, human life relies and utilises the discoveries of Michael Faraday since the first concept is the basis of the operation of an electrical generator and electrical motor and of the second concept which is the basis of the operation of a transformer.
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