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    Electromagnetism

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    In the comments below: Let Us Know Your Project Ideas for Using the Force of Electromagnetism!

    "It is electromagnetism (EM) in all its many forms that has been so basic, that haunts us and guides us." - Nick Holonyak, known as the Father of the LED, first to create a visible spectrum light-emitting diode

    The theme this month is Electromagnetism and it comes from a suggestion from dougw.  Your electronics & design project can be anything that uses the force of electromagnetism.  This includes anything from motors to solenoids to wireless power transfer. An electromagnetic force usually exhibits electromagnetic fields such as electric fields, magnetic fields, and light, and is one of the four fundamental interactions (commonly called forces) in nature. The four forces of nature are gravity, electromagnetism (electricity and magnetism), strong nuclear force, and weak nuclear force. Your project can involve anything within the electromagnetic spectrum, including projects that involve gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet, infrared, visible light, microwave, and radio waves. For example, your project could involve light or radar.  Light is an electromagnetic wave and can travel through the vacuum of outer space.  Radar uses radio waves, which are a type of electromagnetic energy.

     

    You could build a motor that demonstrates electromagnetic induction or do a solenoid project. A basic solenoid can be used to push or pull a magnetized rod, charge a magnet or generate electricity. You can use your solenoid to magnetize tools such as a screwdriver to keep screws from getting away. The solenoid can even act as a generator. Whatever you do with your solenoid, make sure that you do it carefully. or projects involving wireless power transfer.  Wireless power transfer is a form of electromagnetic induction which is widely used. For example, unconnected induction coils are at the heart of transformers in television sets, smartphones, energy-saving lamps, power lines, etc. By increasing or decreasing the alternating voltage in the electrical grid and individual devices, transformers enable efficient power transmission and the operation of consumer electronics. Modern technology uses electromagnetism in ways analogous to those proposed by Nikola Tesla in the mid-19th century.  Technology is far enough caught up to begin realizing the world he envisioned.  One that could supply power to the world without the need for a tangle of wires strung everywhere.  It can be seen in all sorts of things, from wireless charging pads for phones, to electric cars.

     

     

    Prior to 1800s, electricity, magnetism, and optics were all thought of as separate phenomena.  The  thought to be two separate forces.  This all began to change in 1820 when Hans Christen Oersted The first serious relationship between electricity and magnetism was established by Hans Christian Oersted noticed that a compass needle was deflected when he turned on a wire carrying electric current. This led him to study the relationship between electric currents and magnetic fields, and to make a determination several months later, that an electric current produces a magnetic field. Further experimentation led him to discover that when he reversed the current, the needle deflected in the opposite direction, and that neither wood or crystal between the electric current avoided this phenomenon. Andre Marie Ampere, a French physicist and mathematician,  quickly found out about Oersted’s discovery, and began doing his own experiments and measurements in order to mathematically demonstrate the relationship between electricity and magnetism. The two principal laws that he established are known as Ampère's Force Law, where two parallel electrical currents attract or repel each other depending on their polarity – the same or the opposite, respectively; and Ampère’s Circuital Law, a mathematical law that describes the magnetic forces between current-carrying wires, used to determine the magnetic field associated with a given current, or the current associated with a given magnetic field.  The unit of measurement of electric current is named in his honor.

     

     

     

    Michael Faraday took the work of Oersted and Ampère and further developed it.  His two major contributions to electromagnetic theory included the concept of lines of force, and a theory of electromagnetic induction. In 1821 he determined that Oersted’s experiment produced a circular force field.  Faraday asserted that electromagnetic phenomena could be understood in terms of lines of force. These lines of force emanate from electric charges or magnetic poles, and exist throughout space. He hypothesized that a magnet produces magnetic lines of force throughout its surrounding space, and that a magnetic material placed within that space experiences a magnetic force in the direction given by the tangent (i.e. line of force) to that point in space. Having established an idea of magnetic lines of force, Faraday then extended this concept from magnetism to electricity. In other words, Faraday argued that electrically-charged objects produce electric lines of force in its surrounding space, and that a charged particle placed within that space experiences an electric force in the direction given by the tangent to that point in space. To this day, Faraday’s lines of force continue to be used to understand the theory of electricity and magnetism.

    In 1831, he discovered he could create an electrical current from a changing magnetic field, a phenomenon known as electromagnetic induction. A decade after  Oersted’s discovery that a current-carrying wire (i.e. moving charges) could create a magnetic field inspired Faraday to investigate if the reverse is true, and to determine if magnetism could produce electricity.  In 1831, Faraday successfully demonstrated that a changing magnetic field was capable of creating a current in a conductor, a phenomenon is known as electromagnetic induction.  An electromagnet is the basis of an electric motor, turning electricity into motion by exploiting electromagnetic induction.  Among Faraday's inventions were the first electric motor, the first electrical transformer, the first electric generator and the first dynamo, the forerunner of the electric generator.  Faraday discovery that sending an electrical current through a coil, generated another current in a nearby coil is still how electricity is generated today on a much larger scale by power stations.

     

    Faraday's work shifted explanations for electromagnetic phenomena away from the Newtonian paradigm and demonstrated a fundamental relationship between magnetism and electricity. His findings inspired James Clerk Maxwell, an admirer of Faraday's work, to write a series of papers establishing the mathematical proof of Faraday's ideas.  Around 1855, he wrote a mathematical description of several of Faraday's ideas in his paper, On Faraday’s Lines of Force, which was read to the Cambridge Philosophical. In it, he derived the equations of electromagnetism in conjunction with a "sea" of "molecular vortices" to model Faraday's lines of force. in his next paper, On Physical Lines of Force. The four modern Maxwell's equations, appeared in his 1961 paper.

     

    "Imagine [Maxwell's] feelings when the differential equations he had formulated proved to him that electromagnetic fields spread in the form of polarised waves, and at the speed of light! To few men in the world has such an experience been vouchsafed... it took physicists some decades to grasp the full significance of Maxwell's discovery, so bold was the leap that his genius forced upon the conceptions of his fellow-workers." - Albert Einstein

     

     

    Maxwell understood the significance of Faraday's work, and was capable of taking his theories and running with them using exact mathematical proof. For example, he realized that the speed of an electromagnetic waves traveled at the speed of light. As a result, he was able to incorporate light, magnetism and electricity into a single theory using mathematics to proof for fringe ideas, long before applications of his work made their truth apparent.  On the surface, the two geniuses couldn't seem more different, but their strengths complimented each other. Faraday was an Englishmen, Maxwell Scottish. Faraday was the son of a blacksmith and came from limited means. Maxwell’s father had inherited a substantial estate so he hardly needed to practice the law, for which he had been trained. Faraday had only a basic, grade-school education while Maxwell had the finest education available. Faraday was one of the most popular scientific lecturers of his day. Maxwell gained a poor reputation in the classroom. Faraday knew practically no formal mathematics. Maxwell was one of the finest mathematicians of his time. Faraday’s research became dominant for experimentation in electricity and magnetism while Maxwell’s for electromagnetic theory.

     

     

    While he was a professor at London King's College, Maxwell demonstrated that magnetism, electricity and light were different manifestations of the same fundamental laws. He described  these, as well as radio waves, radar and radiant heat, through his unique and elegant system of equations. In 1965, he abruptly quit his professorship to further develop electromagnetic theory. That same year, he concluded that light itself was an electromagnetic disturbance in the form of waves propagated through the electromagnetic field according to electromagnetic laws, inferring a lot of light’s properties.  Several years later he reached the conclusion that “light is nothing more than transverse undulations of the same medium that causes electric and magnetic phenomena“. He published "A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism”, in which he managed to unify all known phenomena at the moment regarding electricity and magnetism. He also used mathematics to provide mathematical proof of Faraday’s concepts of fields and field lines.

     

     

    The Maxwell Equations, together with the Lorentz force law, form the foundation of classical electromagnetism, classical optics, and electric circuits. The Maxwell Equations also proposed that light was an electromagnetic phenomenon and formed a unified foundation for Albert Einstein and Max Planck to develop their own theories: Relativity and Quantum Physics. That is why in 2012, Joel Gabàs Masip wrote in his book “The Nature of Light” that “Maxwell opened the doors for twentieth-century physics“. In Maxwell's publication of "A Dynamic Theory of the Electromagnetic Field, Maxwell demonstrated that electric and magnetic fields travel through space as waves moving at the speed of light. Light is an undulation in the same medium that is the cause of electric and magnetic phenomena. The unification of light and electrical phenomena led to the prediction of the existence of radio waves. The electromagnetic force usually exhibits electromagnetic fields such as electric fields, magnetic fields, and light, and is one of the four fundamental interactions (commonly called forces) in nature. The other three fundamental interactions are the strong interaction, the weak interaction, and gravitation.

    James Clerk Maxwell's mathematical theory of 1873 had predicted that electromagnetic disturbances should propagate through space at the speed of light and should exhibit the wave-like characteristics of light propagation. He did not live long enough to witness the physical manifestations of many of his mathematical proofs. He passed away from abdominal cancer in 1879, a condition that claimed his own mother when he was only eight years old.  In 1887 Hertz designed a brilliant set of experiments to test Maxwell's hypothesis.  Infrared light had been known about since 1800, when Sir Frederick William Herschel used a glass prism to separate the sunlight into a rainbow of colors. He then measured the temperature of each color of light.  He discovered that the color with the highest temperature was seemingly out of the light.  A year later, inspired by Hershel's discovery, Johann Wilhelm Ritter looked to see what light existed beyond the purple end of the spectrum and discovered ultraviolet light. Before he passed away, James Clerk Maxwell predicted that there should be light with even longer wavelengths than infrared light. In 1887 Heinrich Hertz demonstrated the existence of such waves by producing radio waves in his laboratory.  A year later he made the discovery that electromagnetic radiation in the microwave and radio regions of the spectrum display the same basic behavior as visible light—reflection, refraction, diffraction, interference, polarization. Higher-energy (shorter wavelength) light in the electromagnetic spectrum took a bit longer to discover.  X-Rays were discovered in 1895 and Gamma Rays were discovered in 1900.

     

     

    Nikola Tesla, also conducted numerous experiments, to help usher in the basis for a new, resonant understanding of electromagnetism. He saw the world as a uniform, continuous, electromagnetic medium with matter as one of the manifestation of organized electromagnetic oscillations described in a mathematical algorithm. He considered resonance to be the most general natural law, eliminating time and distance, with all relations between phenomena established only through various simple and complex resonances, i.e. coordinated vibrations of physical systems, which have an electromagnetic nature. Instead of Newton’s integrals, Leibniz’s differentials and Maxwell’s theory lying in his calculations, Tesla used the simple mathematics of the Ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes, first making an analogy between mechanics and electromagnetism.  You're probably familiar with one of Tesla's most famous inventions, the Plasma Lamp or the Plasma Globe.  The plasma lamp was invented by Nikola Tesla, during his experimentation with high-frequency currents in an evacuated glass tube for the purpose of studying high voltage phenomena. Tesla called his invention an "inert gas discharge tube."

     

    Wireless power transfer was also originally proposed by Nikola Tesla. He managed to light fluorescent and incandescent lamps from a distance without any wires connecting the lamps to a generator. To pull off this feat, he used the principle of electromagnetic induction: When an alternating current passes through a coil—that is, a conductor wound in a spiral around a cylinder-shaped core—this gives rise to an alternating magnetic field both inside and outside the coil. Faraday's law says that if a second coil is placed in this magnetic field , an electric current is induced in this other coil, which can then be used for charging an accumulator or some other purpose.

     

    Within the EM spectrum there are many useful applications for infrared radiation. Medical infrared technology is used for the non-invasive analysis of body tissues and fluids. Infrared cameras are used in police and security work, as well as in military surveillance. In fire fighting, infrared cameras are used to locate people and animals caught in heavy smoke and for detecting hot spots in forest fires. Infrared imaging is used to detect heat loss in buildings while infrared satellites measure ocean temperatures, providing early warning of natural disasters that impact climates worldwide. These satellites also monitor convection within clouds, helping to identify potentially destructive storms. Airborne and space-based cameras use infrared light to study vegetation patterns and to study the distribution of rocks, minerals and soil. The universe contains vast amounts of dust, and you can peer into star formation at the heart of dusty galaxies using infrared telescopes.  Visible light emitted by very distant objects has been red-shifted into the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum as the universe continues to expand from the Big Bang.

     

    There are countless applications for electromagnets.  They range from large-scale industrial machinery, to small-scale electronic components. They are also used extensively to conduct scientific research and experiments, especially where superconductivity and rapid acceleration are called for. Electromagnetic solenoids are used whenever a uniform (i.e. controlled) magnetic field is needed. The same holds true for iron-core electromagnets, where an iron or other ferromagnetic core is inserted or removed to intensify the magnet’s field strength. For this reason, solenoid magnets are commonly used in electronic paintball markers, pinball machines, dot matrix printers and fuel injectors, where magnetism is applied and controlled to ensure the controlled movement of specific components.  An electromagnet is the basis of an electric motor, turning electricity into motion by exploiting electromagnetic induction.

     

    Superconducting electromagnets are often found in scientific and medical equipment due to their ability to generate very powerful magnetic fields with low resistance and high efficiency.  Examples include, the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines in hospitals, along with scientific instruments such as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometers, mass spectrometers, and particle accelerators.  Electromagnets are used extensively with music, including loudspeakers, earphones, electric bells, as well as, magnetic recording and data storage equipment such as  tape recorders. They were also used in VCRs and are used in hard drives, which use magnetic recording to store information in much the same way as a tape. On a basic level, a hard drive consists of the platter and the actuator. The platter is a hard material that is ferromagnetic (able to be magnetized). This is where your files are stored. The actuator arm, the piece that writes the data, magnetizes certain parts of the platter, giving it a value of 0 or 1. To read the data, the arm goes back over the data and interprets these magnetized areas.

     

    Electrical actuators, the motors responsible for converting electrical energy into mechanical torque, also rely on electromagnets. Electromagnetic induction is also the means through which power transformers function, which are responsible for increasing or decreasing the voltages of alternating current along power lines. Induction heating, which is used for cooking, manufacturing, and medical treatment, also relied on electromagnets, which convert electrical current into heat energy. Electromagnets are also used for industrial applications, such as magnetic lifters that use magnetic attraction to lift heavy objects or magnetic separators that are responsible for sorting ferromagnetic metals from scrap metal. In short, the uses for electromagnets are virtually limitless, powering everything from consumer devices and heavy equipment to mass-transit. In the future, they may also be responsible for space travel, where ion propulsion systems use magnetic fields to accelerate charged particles (i.e. ions) and achieve thrust. We're also beginning to be able to decipher the outlines of thinking via electrencephalogram (EEG) and MRI, giving us a living picture of thoughts ricocheting in people's brains.  We also have computers to read these thoughts.

     

     

    Electromagnetism is the Key to Unlocking the Power of the Force

     

     

     

    Midichlorians not withstanding, the electromagnetic force is the force responsible for most of the interactions we see in our daily lives.  It holds electrons in their orbit around the nucleus.  These electrons interact with other electrons to form electron bonds among elements and produce molecules and, eventually, visible matter.  Electrons “jumping” energy levels produce visible light. EMF holds electrons in their orbit around the nucleus.  These electrons interact with other electrons to form electron bonds among elements and produce molecules and, eventually, visible matter.  Electrons “jumping” energy levels provides us with visible light. Electrically charged particles interact with each other and with magnetic fields. Electromagnetic (EM) radiation is a form of energy that is all around us and takes many forms, such as radio waves, microwaves, X-rays and gamma rays. Sunlight is also a form of EM energy, but visible light is only a small portion of the EM spectrum, which contains a broad range of electromagnetic wavelengths.

     

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    In the comments below: Let Us Know Your Project Ideas for Using the Force of Electromagnetism!