When a current flows through a
conductor, it produces
a magnetic field. The shape of the magnetic field
depends on the shape of the conductor.
You need to know the shape of the magnetic field
for a straight wire (shown below) and a coil.
What is the Shape
of a Magnetic Field
around a Straight Wire?
Iron filings on a
piece of paper will line up with the
magnetic field. The magnetic field around a
straight wire is circular, at right angles to the wire.
You can work out the direction of the field using your
right clenched fist. Point your thumb upwards in the
same direction as the current. The direction of the field
is the same direction in which your fingers curl.
Reversing the direction of the current
will reverse the magnetic field direction.
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