A current carrying conductor exerts a force when a magnet is placed in its vicinity. Similarly, a magnet also exerts equal and opposite force on the current carrying conductor. This was suggested by Marie Ampere, a French Physicist and considered as founder of science of electromagnetism.
The direction of force over the conductor gets reversed with the change in direction of flow of electric current. It is observed that the magnitude of force is highest when the direction of current is at right angles to the magnetic field.
If direction of electric current is perpendicular to the magnetic field, the direction of force is also perpendicular to both of them. The Fleming’s Left Hand Rule states that if the left hand is stretched in a way that the index finger, the middle finger and the thumb are in mutually perpendicular directions; then the index finger and middle finger of a stretched left hand show the direction of magnetic field and direction of electric current respectively and the thumb shows the direction of motion or force acting on the conductor. The directions of electric current, magnetic field and force are similar to three mutually perpendicular axes, i.e. x, y and z axes.
Many devices, such as electric motor, electric generator, loudspeaker, etc. works on the Fleming’s left Hand Rule.
Electrical energy is converted into mechanical energy by using an electric motor. Electric motor works on the basis of rule suggested by Marie Ampere and Fleming’s Left Hand Rule.
In an electric motor, a rectangular coil is suspended between the two poles of a magnetic field. The electric supply to the coil is connected with a commutator. Commutator is a device which reverses the direction of flow of electric current through a circuit.
When electric current is supplied to the coil of electric motor, it gets deflected because of magnetic field. As it reaches the half way, the split ring which acts as commutator reverses the direction of flow of electric current. Reversal of direction of current reverses the direction of forces acting on the coil. The change in direction of force pushes the coil; and it moves another half turn. Thus, the coil completes one rotation around the axle. Continuation of this process keeps the motor in rotation.
In commercial motor, electromagnet; instead of permanent magnet; and armature is used. Armature is a soft iron core with large number of conducting wire turns over it. Large number of turns of conducting wire enhances the magnetic field produced by armature.
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