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Magnetostatics is the study of magnetic fields in systems where the currents are steady (not changing with time). It is the magnetic analogue of electrostatics, where the charges are stationary. The magnetization need not be static; the equations of magnetostatics can be used to predict fast magnetic switching events that occur on time scales of nanoseconds or less. — as long as the currents do not alternate rapidly. Magnetostatics is widely used in applications of micromagnetics such as models of magnetic storage devices as in computer memory. Magnetostatic focussing can be achieved either by a permanent magnet or by passing current through a coil of wire whose axis coincides with the beam axis.Magnetostatics is even a good approximation when the currents are not static
Starting from Maxwell's equations and assuming that charges are either fixed or move as a steady current , the equations separate into two equations for the electric field (see electrostatics) and two for the magnetic field. The fields are independent of time and each other. The magnetostatic equations, in both differential and integral forms, are shown in the table below.
| Gauss's law |
Where ∇ with the dot denotes divergence, and B is the magnetic flux density, the first integral is over a surface with oriented surface element . Where ∇ with the cross denotes curl, J is the current density and H is the magnetic field intensity, the second integral is a line integral around a closed loop with line element . The current going through the loop is .
The quality of this approximation may be guessed by comparing the above equations with the full version of Maxwell's equations and considering the importance of the terms that have been removed. Of particular significance is the comparison of the term against the term. If the term is substantially larger, then the smaller term may be ignored without significant loss of accuracy.
A common technique is to solve a series of magnetostatic problems at incremental time steps and then use these solutions to approximate the term . Plugging this result into Faraday's Law finds a value for (which had previously been ignored). This method is not a true solution of Maxwell's equations but can provide a good approximation for slowly changing fields.[ citation needed ]
If all currents in a system are known (i.e., if a complete description of the current density is available) then the magnetic field can be determined, at a position r, from the currents by the Biot–Savart equation: :174
This technique works well for problems where the medium is a vacuum or air or some similar material with a relative permeability of 1. This includes air-core inductors and air-core transformers. One advantage of this technique is that, if a coil has a complex geometry, it can be divided into sections and the integral evaluated for each section. Since this equation is primarily used to solve linear problems, the contributions can be added. For a very difficult geometry, numerical integration may be used.
For problems where the dominant magnetic material is a highly permeable magnetic core with relatively small air gaps, a magnetic circuit approach is useful. When the air gaps are large in comparison to the magnetic circuit length, fringing becomes significant and usually requires a finite element calculation. The finite element calculation uses a modified form of the magnetostatic equations above in order to calculate magnetic potential. The value of can be found from the magnetic potential.
The magnetic field can be derived from the vector potential. Since the divergence of the magnetic flux density is always zero,
and the relation of the vector potential to current is: 176:
Strongly magnetic materials (i.e., ferromagnetic, ferrimagnetic or paramagnetic) have a magnetization that is primarily due to electron spin. In such materials the magnetization must be explicitly included using the relation
Except in metals, electric currents can be ignored. Then Ampère's law is simply
This has the general solution
where is a scalar potential. :192 Substituting this in Gauss's law gives
Thus, the divergence of the magnetization, has a role analogous to the electric charge in electrostatics and is often referred to as an effective charge density .
The vector potential method can also be employed with an effective current density
In physics the Lorentz force is the combination of electric and magnetic force on a point charge due to electromagnetic fields. A particle of charge q moving with a velocity v in an electric field E and a magnetic field B experiences a force of
Maxwell's equations are a set of coupled partial differential equations that, together with the Lorentz force law, form the foundation of classical electromagnetism, classical optics, and electric circuits. The equations provide a mathematical model for electric, optical, and radio technologies, such as power generation, electric motors, wireless communication, lenses, radar etc. They describe how electric and magnetic fields are generated by charges, currents, and changes of the fields. The equations are named after the physicist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell, who, between 1861 and 1862, published an early form of the equations that included the Lorentz force law. Maxwell first used the equations to propose that light is an electromagnetic phenomenon.
A magnetic field is a vector field that describes the magnetic influence of electric charges in relative motion and magnetized materials. A charge that is moving parallel to a current of other charges experiences a force perpendicular to its own velocity. The effects of magnetic fields are commonly seen in permanent magnets, which pull on magnetic materials and attract or repel other magnets. Magnetic fields surround and are created by magnetized material and by moving electric charges such as those used in electromagnets. They exert forces on nearby moving electrical charges and torques on nearby magnets. In addition, a magnetic field that varies with location exerts a force on magnetic materials. Both the strength and direction of a magnetic field vary with location. As such, it is described mathematically as a vector field.
An electric potential is the amount of work needed to move a unit of charge from a reference point to a specific point inside the field without producing an acceleration. Typically, the reference point is the Earth or a point at infinity, although any point can be used.
In physics, specifically electromagnetism, the Biot–Savart law is an equation describing the magnetic field generated by a constant electric current. It relates the magnetic field to the magnitude, direction, length, and proximity of the electric current. The Biot–Savart law is fundamental to magnetostatics, playing a role similar to that of Coulomb's law in electrostatics. When magnetostatics does not apply, the Biot–Savart law should be replaced by Jefimenko's equations. The law is valid in the magnetostatic approximation, and consistent with both Ampère's circuital law and Gauss's law for magnetism. It is named after Jean-Baptiste Biot and Félix Savart, who discovered this relationship in 1820.
In classical electromagnetism, Ampère's circuital law relates the integrated magnetic field around a closed loop to the electric current passing through the loop. James Clerk Maxwell derived it using hydrodynamics in his 1861 published paper "On Physical Lines of Force" and it is now one of the Maxwell equations, which form the basis of classical electromagnetism.
Classical electromagnetism or classical electrodynamics is a branch of theoretical physics that studies the interactions between electric charges and currents using an extension of the classical Newtonian model. The theory provides a description of electromagnetic phenomena whenever the relevant length scales and field strengths are large enough that quantum mechanical effects are negligible. For small distances and low field strengths, such interactions are better described by quantum electrodynamics.
The magnetic moment is the magnetic strength and orientation of a magnet or other object that produces a magnetic field. Examples of objects that have magnetic moments include: loops of electric current, permanent magnets, moving elementary particles, various molecules, and many astronomical objects.
In electromagnetism, displacement current density is the quantity ∂D/∂t appearing in Maxwell's equations that is defined in terms of the rate of change of D, the electric displacement field. Displacement current density has the same units as electric current density, and it is a source of the magnetic field just as actual current is. However it is not an electric current of moving charges, but a time-varying electric field. In physical materials, there is also a contribution from the slight motion of charges bound in atoms, called dielectric polarization.
In classical electromagnetism, polarization density is the vector field that expresses the density of permanent or induced electric dipole moments in a dielectric material. When a dielectric is placed in an external electric field, its molecules gain electric dipole moment and the dielectric is said to be polarized. The electric dipole moment induced per unit volume of the dielectric material is called the electric polarization of the dielectric.
In electrodynamics, Poynting's theorem is a statement of conservation of energy for the electromagnetic field,, in the form of a partial differential equation developed by British physicist John Henry Poynting. Poynting's theorem is analogous to the work-energy theorem in classical mechanics, and mathematically similar to the continuity equation, because it relates the energy stored in the electromagnetic field to the work done on a charge distribution, through energy flux.
Magnetic vector potential, A, is the vector quantity in classical electromagnetism defined so that its curl is equal to the magnetic field: . Together with the electric potential φ, the magnetic vector potential can be used to specify the electric field E as well. Therefore, many equations of electromagnetism can be written either in terms of the fields E and B, or equivalently in terms of the potentials φ and A. In more advanced theories such as quantum mechanics, most equations use potentials rather than fields.
A classical field theory is a physical theory that predicts how one or more physical fields interact with matter through field equations. The term 'classical field theory' is commonly reserved for describing those physical theories that describe electromagnetism and gravitation, two of the fundamental forces of nature. Theories that incorporate quantum mechanics are called quantum field theories.
In the physics of gauge theories, gauge fixing denotes a mathematical procedure for coping with redundant degrees of freedom in field variables. By definition, a gauge theory represents each physically distinct configuration of the system as an equivalence class of detailed local field configurations. Any two detailed configurations in the same equivalence class are related by a gauge transformation, equivalent to a shear along unphysical axes in configuration space. Most of the quantitative physical predictions of a gauge theory can only be obtained under a coherent prescription for suppressing or ignoring these unphysical degrees of freedom.
In classical electromagnetism, magnetization or magnetic polarization is the vector field that expresses the density of permanent or induced magnetic dipole moments in a magnetic material. The origin of the magnetic moments responsible for magnetization can be either microscopic electric currents resulting from the motion of electrons in atoms, or the spin of the electrons or the nuclei. Net magnetization results from the response of a material to an external magnetic field. Paramagnetic materials have a weak induced magnetization in a magnetic field, which disappears when the magnetic field is removed. Ferromagnetic and ferrimagnetic materials have strong magnetization in a magnetic field, and can be magnetized to have magnetization in the absence of an external field, becoming a permanent magnet. Magnetization is not necessarily uniform within a material, but may vary between different points. Magnetization also describes how a material responds to an applied magnetic field as well as the way the material changes the magnetic field, and can be used to calculate the forces that result from those interactions. It can be compared to electric polarization, which is the measure of the corresponding response of a material to an electric field in electrostatics. Physicists and engineers usually define magnetization as the quantity of magnetic moment per unit volume. It is represented by a pseudovector M.
In electromagnetism, Jefimenko's equations give the electric field and magnetic field due to a distribution of electric charges and electric current in space, that takes into account the propagation delay of the fields due to the finite speed of light and relativistic effects. Therefore they can be used for moving charges and currents. They are the general solutions to Maxwell's equations for any arbitrary distribution of charges and currents.
Micromagnetics is a field of physics dealing with the prediction of magnetic behaviors at sub-micrometer length scales. The length scales considered are large enough for the atomic structure of the material to be ignored, yet small enough to resolve magnetic structures such as domain walls or vortices.
There are various mathematical descriptions of the electromagnetic field that are used in the study of electromagnetism, one of the four fundamental interactions of nature. In this article, several approaches are discussed, although the equations are in terms of electric and magnetic fields, potentials, and charges with currents, generally speaking.
In electrodynamics, the retarded potentials are the electromagnetic potentials for the electromagnetic field generated by time-varying electric current or charge distributions in the past. The fields propagate at the speed of light c, so the delay of the fields connecting cause and effect at earlier and later times is an important factor: the signal takes a finite time to propagate from a point in the charge or current distribution to another point in space, see figure below.
The demagnetizing field, also called the stray field, is the magnetic field (H-field) generated by the magnetization in a magnet. The total magnetic field in a region containing magnets is the sum of the demagnetizing fields of the magnets and the magnetic field due to any free currents or displacement currents. The term demagnetizing field reflects its tendency to act on the magnetization so as to reduce the total magnetic moment. It gives rise to shape anisotropy in ferromagnets with a single magnetic domain and to magnetic domains in larger ferromagnets.