I get lots of REALLY GOOD questions from my YouTube and Website viewers. I like answering questions because it gives me an opportunity to re-think what I am saying or trying to say. Explaining these things in words is very difficult. It takes practice. Every time I am answering a question, I am practicing my “articulation” of what I think is going on. I am not claiming to know everything, nor am I claiming to know anything. I am telling you what I THINK. Everything I say is IN MY HUMBLE OPINION. Here is one of my viewers questions. This one seemed easy at first, until I started to answer it. Then, I realized it was more complicated than I thought.
Question: “How do parallel wires have the same geometry as magnet?”
Answer: Let’s take this one step at a time, starting with the field geometry of an electric field depicted by Charles P. Steinmetz in his book, Electric Discharges, Waves and Impulses:
Now let’s look at a picture I took of a ferrocell under the influence of a magnet with a sprinkling of iron fillings on the ferrocell glass.
In this image, the iron filings appear to line up with the the dashed lines in the Steinmetz figure, and the yellow lines from the ferrocell basically line up with the solid lines in the Steinmetz figure. In other words, the ferrocell image combined with the iron filings appears to show the complete field geometry which Steinmetz referred to as the “electric field”. But, according to mainstream magnetism, there is no “electric field” surrounding a magnet. Permanent magnets only have magnetic fields. Right?
According to Steinmetz, the magnetic field and the dielectric field are two (orthogonal) components of the electric field of the conductor. In order to have an electric field, you need to have BOTH. In both the Steinmetz diagram and the ferrocell image, you can clearly see the ORTHOGONALITY between the “dielectric” lines and the “magnetic” lines. There are two more things to notice:
- The black “holes” in the ferrocell image seem to coincide with the two wires in the Steinmetz diagram.
- The dielectric lines meet the conductors normal to the surface of the conductors.
Point 2. can be seen more clearly in this diagram:
The similarities between the Steinmetz diagram and the permanent magnet under the ferrocell are uncanny, and yet, there are no “wires” in the magnet. There is no “electric current” running in and around the magnet. Or is there? To investigate this further, let’s have a look at iron filings under the influence of a loop of a current carrying wire:
This field geometry looks more like the “magnetic” lines in the Steinmetz diagram (and the yellow lines in ferrocell), and less like the “dielectric” lines. In other words, in the two wire situation, iron filings line up with the “magnetic” field and in the permanent magnet, the iron filings seem to line up with the “dielectric” field of the Steinmetz diagram. Are you confused yet? Yes, me too. So what is going on?
Ken Wheeler often refers to an inductor as an inside out magnet, According to Ken, the coil of wire in the above circular conductor is, for all intents and purposes, the dielectric inertial plane. It is commonly thought that North is above the coil and south is below the coil (or vice versa depending on the direction of the current).
Have a closer look at the iron filings in both the coil of wire and in the permanent magnet.
Clearly, the iron filings are lining up very differently in these two situations. There appears to be some intrinsic differences between an induced magnet and a permanent magnet. So, what does an induced magnet look like under the ferrocell? Here is an image from a video by Brian Kerr:
It seems that the “dielectric” field lines and the “magnetic” field lines are swapped between a permanent magnet and an induced magnet. But why?