MadSci Network: Physics

Re: which direction does magnetism flow N to S ?

Date: Mon Aug 9 08:08:23 1999
Posted By: Bob Novak, Other (pls. specify below), Sr Process Research Engineer, Carpenter Technology
Area of science: Physics
ID: 933393477.Ph

Hi Jay,

Pictures of bar magnets or even the earths magnetic field commonly use 
arrows to represent the direction and magnitude of the magnetic field.  
Very often the arrows originate at the north pole and terminate at the 
south pole, which implies a flow.  Magnetism does not flow.  Magnetism is a 
force which a magnet exerts on other objects.  The force, represented by 
the arrows, is strongest at the location of the poles and weaker in areas 
between the poles.  

Electrical currents (flow of electrons) are generated when an electrical 
conductor (metal) moves in the presence of a magnetic field.  The magnetic 
force combined with the motion of the conductor creates an electrical 

Bob Novak
Specialist - Process R&D
Carpenter Technology

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