What is Magnetic field?

A magnetic field is a space around a magnet or a current-carrying wire within which its magnetic effects can be experienced. The magnetic effects are commonly seen in permanent magnets, electromagnets, etc. These magnets can pull or attract magnetic materials like iron and attract or repel other magnets due to its magnetic field. A magnetic field is a vector field. The magnetic field is represented by an imaginary set of lines or curves known as magnetic lines of force.

Types of magnetic field

1. Uniform magnetic field

2. Non-uniform magnetic field

Let us see each type one by one.

1. Uniform magnetic field

The magnetic field in a region is uniform if it has the same strength at all the points in the region. The magnitude, as well as direction of the strength of the magnetic field, remains the same throughout the region in the uniform magnetic field. This field is represented by an evenly spaced parallel lines as shown in figure 1.

uniform-magnetic field
Figure. 1

Examples: magnetic field of the earth, magnetic field inside a long current-carrying solenoid, etc.

2. Non-uniform magnetic field

The magnetic field in a region is non-uniform if it has different strength at different points in the region. The magnitude, as well as direction of the strength of the magnetic field, vary at different points in the non-uniform magnetic field. This field is represented by an unevenly spaced lines or converging lines or diverging lines.

non-uniform magnetic field
Figure 2

A strong magnetic field is represented by closely spaced magnetic lines of forces. A weak magnetic field is represented by widely spaced magnetic lines of forces.

Examples: magnetic field of a bar magnet, etc.

In this article, we have seen what is magnetic field.

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