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.