Magnetic and Electric Fields Name: Or F. Status: student Age: 20s Location: N/A Country: N/A Date: 2000-2001 Question: Are the Magnetic Field and the Electric Field are the same and the only difference between them is the reference axis ? Replies: Or, Magnetic and electric field are two DIFFERENT parts of electromagnetism. It is possible to have either one without the other. It is when part of radiation traveling through space that the electric and magnetic fields are perpendicular. Electric field produces a force proportional to the electric charge within the field. Electic force is in the direction fo the electic field. Magnetic force is proportional to electric charge AND the speed of the charge. The magnetic force is perpendicular to both magnetic field AND direction of motion. A charge sitting still will be affected by an electric field. It will not be affected by a magnetic field. A wire with current flowing through it will not be significantly affected by an electric field. The total charge in the wire is zero: same amount of positive and negative. Since only the negative charge is moving in the wire, it will be very much affected by a magnetic field. Dr. Ken Mellendorf Illinois Central College Magnetic and electric fields are not the same, although in electromagnetic radiation (light, U.V., infrared etc.) they oscillate at right angles to one another. However, it is possible to have a magnetic field (e.g. a permanent magnet) without an electric field, of an electric field (e.g. static electricity) without a magnetic field. Do magnetic and electric fields interact? YES! The interact according the the principles laid out in Maxwell's equations governing those fields. Vince Calder Click here to return to the Physics Archives

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