Dictionary:Magnetic field

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FIG. M-1. Magnetic quantities and units. See also Appendix A, SI units.

The space through which influence on, or by, a magnet is exerted. The torque per unit dipole moment at any point in space that would tend to orient a current-carrying coil or magnet if located at that point. A vector quantity also called the magnetic flux density or the magnetic induction and symbolized by B. The unit of measure for B in the SI and mks systems is the tesla and in the cgs system the gauss or gamma (1tesla=1weber/m2=1 newton/amp.m=104gauss=104 maxwell/cm2=109 gamma). B is defined via the force F on a charge q moving with velocity v:

This is often written in terms of the force dF produced on a small element of length d that is carrying a current I:

B is related to the magnetizing force H by a constant of the medium called the permeability μ:

The unit of measure for H in the Sl and mks systems is ampere turns per meter and in the cgs system, the oersted (1 ampere turn per meter=4π10–3 gilbert per centimeter). μo is called the permeability of free space; μo=4π10–7 henry per meter in Sl units and 1 gauss per oersted in cgs units. B can also be expressed as

where M and I are called the magnetization and intensity of magnetization. A magnetic field whose magnitude is given by the inverse-square law surrounds a magnetic pole, and a magnetic field given by Ampere’s law surrounds an electric current. H is sometimes called the magnetic field. See Figure M-1.

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