### Lenz's law

Electromagnetism |
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**Lenz's law**is a common way of understanding how electromagnetic circuits obey Newton's third law and the conservation of energy.

^{[1]}Lenz's law is named after Heinrich Lenz, and it says:

An induced electromotive force (emf) always gives rise to a current whose magnetic field opposes the original change in magnetic flux. Lenz's law is shown with the negative sign in Faraday's law of induction:which indicates that the induced emf (ℰ) and the change in magnetic flux (∂Φ

- \mathcal{E}=-\frac{\partial \Phi_\mathrm{B}}{\partial t},
_{B}) have opposite signs.^{[2]}For a rigorous mathematical treatment, see electromagnetic induction and Maxwell's equations.## Contents

- Opposing currents 1

- Example 1.1
- Detailed interaction of charges in these currents 2
- Field energy 3
- Conservation of momentum 4
- References 5
- External links 6
## Opposing currents

If a change in the magnetic field of currenti_{1}induces another electric current,i_{2}, the direction ofi_{2}is opposite that of the change ini_{1}. If these currents are in two coaxial circular conductorsℓ_{1}andℓ_{2}respectively, and both are initially 0, then the currentsi_{1}andi_{2}must counter-rotate. The opposing currents will repel each other as a result. Lenz's law states that the current induced in a circuit due to a change or a motion in a magnetic field is so directed as to oppose the change in flux or to exert a mechanical force opposing the motion.## Example

Currents bound inside the atoms of strong magnets can create counter-rotating currents in a copper or aluminum pipe. This is shown by dropping the magnet through the pipe. The descent of the magnet inside the pipe is observably slower than when dropped outside the pipe. When an emf is generated by a change in magnetic flux according to Faraday's Law, the polarity of the induced emf is such that it produces a current whose magnetic field opposes the change which produces it. The induced magnetic field inside any loop of wire always acts to keep the magnetic flux in the loop constant. In the examples below, if theBfield is increasing, the induced field acts in opposition to it. If it is decreasing, the induced field acts in the direction of the applied field to try to keep it constant.## Detailed interaction of charges in these currents

In electromagnetism, when charges change positions along electric field lines, work is done on them, whether it involves storing potential energy (negative work) or increasing kinetic energy (positive work). When net positive work is applied to a chargeq_{1}, it gains momentum. The net work onq_{1}thereby generates a magnetic field whose strength (in units of magnetic flux density (1 tesla = 1 volt-second per square meter)) is proportional to the speed increase ofq_{1}. This magnetic field can interact with a neighboring chargeq_{2}, passing on this momentum to it, and in return,q_{1}loses momentum. The chargeq_{2}can also act onq_{1}in a similar manner, by which it returns some of the emf that it received fromq_{1}. This back-and-forth component of emf contributes to magnetic inductance. The closer thatq_{1}andq_{2}are, the greater the effect. Whenq_{2}is inside a conductive medium such as a thick slab made of copper or aluminum, it more readily reacts to the emf sent to it byq_{1}. The energy ofq_{1}is not "instantly" consumed only as heat generated by the current ofq_{2}but is also stored intwoopposing magnetic fields. The energy density of magnetic fields tends to vary by the square of the magnetic field's intensity; however, in the case of magnetically non-linear materials such as ferromagnets and superconductors, this relationship breaks down.## Field energy

The electric field stores energy. The energy density of the electric field is given by:In general the incremental amount of work per unit volume

- u = \frac{1}{2} \varepsilon |\mathbf{E}|^2 \, ,
δWneeded to cause a small change of magnetic fieldδBis:

- \delta W = \mathbf{H}\cdot\delta\mathbf{B}.
## Conservation of momentum

Momentum must be conserved in the process, so ifq_{1}is pushed in one direction, thenq_{2}ought to be pushed in the other direction by the same force at the same time. However, the situation becomes more complicated when the finite speed of electromagnetic wave propagation is introduced (see retarded potential). This means that for a brief period of time, the total momentum of the two charges is not conserved, implying that the difference should be accounted for by momentum in the fields, as asserted by Richard P. Feynman.^{[3]}Famous 19th century electrodynamicist James Clerk Maxwell called this the "electromagnetic momentum".^{[4]}Yet, such a treatment of fields may be necessary in the case of applying Lenz's law to opposite charges. It is normally assumed that the charges in question have the same sign. If they are not, such as a proton and an electron, the interaction is different. An electron generating a magnetic field would generate an emf that causes a proton to change its motion in the same direction as the electron. At first, this might seem to violate the law of conservation of momentum, but of course, such an interaction indeed conserves momentum once taking into account the momentum of electromagnetic fields.## References

- ^ Schmitt, Ron.
Electromagnetics explained. 2002. Retrieved 16 July 2010.- ^ Giancoli, Douglas C. (1998).
Physics: principles with applications(5th ed.). p. 624.- ^
The Feynman Lectures on Physics: Volume I, Chapter 10, Page 9.- ^ Maxwell, James C.
A treatise on electricity and magnetism, Volume 2. Retrieved 16 July 2010.## External links