The Heavens Declare His Handiwork

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Thomas Lee Abshier, ND

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The Magnetic Field & Current

By: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND

The B field has both a dynamic and a static form.  The static form above is the foundation of the dynamic case.  The dynamic B Field forms in response to the presence of a moving charge.  The metallic conductor (a wire) carrying an electrical current is the classic method of generating a electromagnetic B field.  

  1. In the case of a battery, an electrochemical voltage source, a highly electronegative chemical provides a source of electrons.  A more electropositive chemical provides the attractive sink for the electrons.  An ionic solution provides a medium for the migration of ions after the electrons discharge between the poles.  An electron flow between anode and cathode (through a load) discharges the electrochemical gradient between the two poles.  
  2. Likewise, an electromechanical generator can produce a current by forcing a wire to move through a magnetic field.  The movement of a conductor is equivalent to moving electrons in a magnetic field.  The question is how the movement of a conductor through a field produces a current.  But, before we answer that question, we will confront the issue of how a wire conductor produces a B field when it conducts a current.
  3. Current flows in a conductor in the presence of a voltage source, which provides an E field as a battery or generator as mentioned above.  
  4. The metallic conductor is a medium of high electrical permittivity which allows the E field to diminish very little over long distances compared to the permittivity of free space.  

The electron moves in the presence of a high permittivity space with force of the E field pulling it from the negative to positive terminal.  The electron accelerates in the E field along the various twists and turns of the conductor until it reaches its destination at the positive (+) terminal.  

If the conductor is immersed in liquid Helium, the wire will probably be a superconductor and offer no resistance to acceleration, other than that provided by the inductance and capacitance of the wire.  But, a conductor at room temperature will have a more strongly vibrating lattice of metallic atoms.  As a result, the electron will collide with the metallic lattice and lose energy to lattice vibration.  The rate of energy loss will dictate the resistance of the wire to current flow per meter of wire.  As a result of the resistance to current flow, the electron will not accelerate beyond a certain velocity.  The current becomes a collection of many electrons engaged in an intermittent start and stop of electron flow.  The E field frees electrons from atomic orbit, and the collisions with the electronic lattice and the associated capture causes a loss of some energy, and produces a field which helps accelerate the release of another electron with the help of the voltage source E field.  

The E field from the voltage source accelerates free electrons pulled from the orbitals of the metallic atom’s outer shells.  These outer orbital electrons occupy the “conduction zone”, which are so named because of the low activation energies needed to move them from one orbital to the next.  The flight path of any individual electron may only go to the electron orbital of an adjacent atom before being recaptured.  But regardless of the details of its transit, the movement of the electron produces one of the most enigmatic phenomena of electrical circuitry.  A moving electron inherently produces a magnetic field with a pole orientation 90° to the direction of travel of the electron.