21_lenz - Lesson 21 Lenz's Law Heinrich Lenz was a German...

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Lesson 21: Lenz's Law Heinrich Lenz was a German physicist who started studying electromagnetism in the 1830's. By using a bit of logic he was able to come up with a method to predict the direction of the current in a coil if it was exposed to a changing magnetic field. We will be drawing these coils as solenoids to make them easier to figure out, but they do not have to be solenoids. Lenz recognized that there were only two possibilities for the direction of the current in the coil, so he figured out which one was impossible and which must be correct. The Wrong Way As the magnet is pushed into the coil of wire, we assume that the induced current is flowing as shown by the arrow. If the current flows this way in the coil, we can use the second hand rule to figure out the direction of the magnetic field of the solenoid. If this was what really happened, all you would need to do is just start start pushing on the magnet for a moment. The current induced in the coil will create the poles as shown.

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This note was uploaded on 12/02/2011 for the course PHYSICS 235 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Rutgers.

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21_lenz - Lesson 21 Lenz's Law Heinrich Lenz was a German...

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