Faraday’s Law of Electromagnetic Induction
We have seen previously that when a DC current pass through a long straight conductor a magnetising force, H and a static magnetic field, B is developed around the wire. If the wire is then wound into a coil, the magnetic field is greatly intensified producing a static magnetic field around itself forming the shape of a bar magnet giving a distinct North and South pole.
Air-core Hollow Coil
The magnetic flux developed around the coil being proportional to the amount of current flowing in the coils windings as shown. If additional layers of wire are wound upon the same coil with the same current flowing through them, the static magnetic field strength would be increased.
Therefore, the Magnetic Field Strength of a coil is determined by the ampere turns of the coil. With more turns of wire within the coil, the greater the strength of the static magnetic field around it.
But what if we reversed this idea by disconnecting the electrical current from the coil and instead of a hollow core we placed a bar magnet inside the core of the coil of wire. By moving this bar magnet “in” and “out” of the coil a current would be induced into the coil by the physical movement of the magnetic flux inside it.
Video: Faraday's Law
Likewise, if we kept the bar magnet stationary and moved the coil back and forth within the magnetic field an electric current would be induced in the coil. Then by either moving the wire or changing the magnetic field we can induce a voltage and current within the coil and this process is known as Electromagnetic Induction and is the basic principal of operation of transformers, motors and generators.
Electromagnetic Induction was first discovered way back in the 1830’s by Michael Faraday. Faraday noticed that when he moved a permanent magnet in and out of a coil or a single loop of wire it induced an ElectroMotive Force or emf, in other words a Voltage, and therefore a current was produced.
So what Michael Faraday discovered was a way of producing an electrical current in a circuit by using only the force of a magnetic field and not batteries. This then lead to a very important law linking electricity with magnetism, Faraday’s Law of Electromagnetic Induction. So how does this work?.
When the magnet shown below is moved “towards” the coil, the pointer or needle of the Galvanometer, which is basically a very sensitive centre zero’ed moving-coil ammeter, will deflect away from its centre position in one direction only. When the magnet stops moving and is held stationary with regards to the coil the needle of the galvanometer returns back to zero as there is no physical movement of the magnetic field.
Likewise, when the magnet is moved “away” from the coil in the other direction, the needle of the galvanometer deflects in the opposite direction with regards to the first indicating a change in polarity. Then by moving the magnet back and forth towards the coil the needle of the galvanometer will deflect left or right, positive or negative, relative to the directional motion of the magnet.
Electromagnetic Induction by a Moving Magnet
Likewise, if the magnet is now held stationary and ONLY the coil is moved towards or away from the magnet the needle of the galvanometer will also deflect in either direction. Then the action of moving a coil or loop of wire through a magnetic field induces a voltage in the coil with the magnitude of this induced voltage being proportional to the speed or velocity of the movement.
Faraday's Law - Click to Interactive Simulation
Then we can see that the faster the movement of the magnetic field the greater will be the induced emf or voltage in the coil, so for Faraday’s law to hold true there must be “relative motion” or movement between the coil and the magnetic field and either the magnetic field, the coil or both can move.
Faraday’s Law of Induction
From the above description we can say that a relationship exists between an electrical voltage and a changing magnetic field to which Michael Faraday’s famous law of electromagnetic induction states: “that a voltage is induced in a circuit whenever relative motion exists between a conductor and a magnetic field and that the magnitude of this voltage is proportional to the rate of change of the flux”.
In other words, Electromagnetic Induction is the process of using magnetic fields to produce voltage, and in a closed circuit, a current.
So how much voltage (emf) can be induced into the coil using just magnetism. Well this is determined by the following 3 different factors.
- Increasing the number of turns of wire in the coil. – By increasing the amount of individual conductors cutting through the magnetic field, the amount of induced emf produced will be the sum of all the individual loops of the coil, so if there are 20 turns in the coil there will be 20 times more induced emf than in one piece of wire.
- Increasing the speed of the relative motion between the coil and the magnet. – If the same coil of wire passed through the same magnetic field but its speed or velocity is increased, the wire will cut the lines of flux at a faster rate so more induced emf would be produced.
- Increasing the strength of the magnetic field. – If the same coil of wire is moved at the same speed through a stronger magnetic field, there will be more emf produced because there are more lines of force to cut.
The magnitude of the electromagnetic induction is directly proportional to the flux density, β the number of loops giving a total length of the conductor, l in meters and the rate or velocity, ν at which the magnetic field changes within the conductor in meters/second or m/s, giving by the motional emf expression:
Faraday’s Motional EMF Expression
If the conductor does not move at right angles (90°) to the magnetic field then the angle θ° will be added to the above expression giving a reduced output as the angle increases: