Peculiarity Of A Magnet

One characteristic of a magnet is that, while apparently the magnetic field flows out at one end of the magnet, and moves inwardly at the other end, the power of attraction is just the same at both ends.

In Fig. 12 are shown a bar (A) and a horseshoe magnet (B). The bar (A) has metal blocks (C) at each end, and each of these blocks is attracted to and held in contact with the ends by magnetic influence, just the same as the bar (D) is attracted by and held against the two ends of the horseshoe magnet. These blocks (C) or the bar (D) are called armatures. Through them is represented the visible motion produced by the magnetic field.

Fig. 12. Armatures for MagnetsFig. 12. Armatures for Magnets

Action Of The Electro-Magnet

The electro-magnet exerts its force in the same manner as a permanent magnet, so far as attraction and repulsion are concerned, and it has a north and a south pole, as in the case with the permanent magnet. An electro-magnet is simply a bar of iron with a coil or coils of wire around it; when a current of electricity flows through the wire, the bar is magnetized. The moment the current is cut off, the bar is demagnetized. The question that now arises is, why an electric current flowing through a wire, under those conditions, magnetizes the bar, or core, as it is called.

Fig. 13. Magnetized FieldFig. 13. Magnetized Field Fig. 14. Magnetized BarFig. 14. Magnetized Bar

In Fig. 13 is shown a piece of wire (A). Let us assume that a current of electricity is flowing through this wire in the direction of the darts. What actually takes place is that the electricity extends out beyond the surface of the wire in the form of the closed rings (B). If, now, this wire (A) is wound around an iron core (C, Fig. 14), you will observe that this electric field, as it is called, entirely surrounds the core, or rather, that the core is within the magnetic field or influence of the current flowing through the wire, and the core (C) thereby becomes magnetized, but it is magnetized only when the current passes through the wire coil (A).

Fig. 15. Direction of CurrentFig. 15. Direction of Current

From the foregoing, it will be understood that a wire carrying a current of electricity not only is affected within its body, but that it also has a sphere of influence exteriorly to the body of the wire, at all points; and advantage is taken of this phenomenon in constructing motors, dynamos, electrical measuring devices and almost every kind of electrical mechanism in existence.

Exterior Magnetic Influence Around A Wire Carrying A Current

Bear in mind that the wire coil (A, Fig. 14) does not come into contact with the core (C). It is insulated from the core, either by air or by rubber or other insulating substance, and a current passing from A to C under those conditions is a current of induction. On the other hand, the current flowing through the wire (A) from end to end is called a conduction current. Remember these terms.

In this connection there is also another thing which you will do well to bear in mind. In Fig. 15 you will notice a core (C) and an insulated wire coil (B) wound around it. The current, through the wire (B), as shown by the darts (D), moves in one direction, and the induced current in the core (C) travels in the opposite direction, as shown by the darts (D).

Fig. 16. Direction of Induction CurrentFig. 16. Direction of Induction Current

Parallel Wires

In like manner, if two wires (A, B, Fig. 16) are parallel with each other, and a current of electricity passes along the wire (A) in one direction, the induced current in the wire (B) will move in the opposite direction.

These fundamental principles should be thoroughly understood and mastered.