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Magnetic force between two current carrying wires (https://www.geogebra.org/m/JSrCbknr )

Objective

In this simulation we review two different applications of the right-hand rule, and verify the

dependence of magnetic force on currents as well as the distance between the two current

carrying wires.

Pre-lab

Please read pp. 878-879, College Physics, Openstax. The covered material will also be discussed

during the introduction period of the lab class.

Tips for using this simulation

• Wire A and B are both 1-m long portions of a pair of parallel, long conductors.

• Do not try to zoom in/out by scrolling or swiping the mouse within the simulator

window. Instead, change the browser size or use the scroll bar on the right edge of the

browser window to adjust the view.

• Use the control buttons or text input to change currents or distance.

• Use the browser refresh button to go back to the default configuration and setting.

Lab activities and questions

Run I: Right hand rule

1. Start the simulation, and explore the range of the current and the range of the distance

between wires.

2. Set the position of wire A at x=0, and wire B at x=3m. Apply the right-hand rule and

complete the following tables.

Current in wire A,

IA [A]

Direction of magnetic field

produced by IA at x=3m

Direction of magnetic

force on wire B

-3

3

Current in wire B,

IB [A]

Direction of magnetic field

produced by IB at x=0

Direction of magnetic

force on wire A

-3

3

3. You can click the boxes under the current and distance control bars to show the

magnetic field and forces. Do your predictions from the previous step agree with the

simulation?

Run II: Dependence of magnetic force on the currents

1. Check the box next to “show forces”. With IB fixed at 1.5A, vary IA, and record the

corresponding magnetic force in the table below.

Current in wire A,

IA [A]

Product of currents,

IA*IB, [A2

]

Magnitude of

magnetic force, F [N]

1

2

3

4

5

2. With IA fixed at 3A, vary IB, and record the corresponding magnetic force in the table

below.

Current in wire A,

IB [A]

Product of currents,

IA*IB, [A2

]

Magnitude of

magnetic force, F [N]

0.5

1

1.5

2

2.5

3. By comparing the two data tables, what conclusion can be drawn about the relation

between magnetic force and currents?

4. Plot F vs. IA*IB in excel using scatter type. Then use the trendline function to find the

slope. Does it agree with the theoretical slope?

Run III: Dependence of magnetic force on the distance

1. Set IA=3A, IB=1.5A. Adjust the distance between the wires and read the magnetic force.

Distance between

wires, r [m]

1/r, [m-1] Magnitude of

magnetic force, F [N]

1

2

3

4

5

2. Plot F vs. 1/r in excel using scatter type. Then use the trendline function to find the

slope. Does it agree with the theoretical slope?

3. What conclusion can you draw about the relation between magnetic force and

distance?

Lab report

For each run, please include data table, graph (if required), and data analysis in your report.

Answer all questions.