Maxwell And Faraday Research Paper

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Maxwell and Faraday- A Brief History of Electromagnetism

The field of electromagnetism was established in 1819, twelve years before Maxwell was born. Hans Christian Oersted from Denmark was the first scientist who thought of the possibility that magnetism and electricity were related. He considered such a possibility because of the observations he made during an experiment. He Placed a wire above a compass and passed a current through the wire. He noticed that the needle of compass moved when current was passing through the wire. André Ampère was greatly inspired by Oersted’s findings and worked on it to create a mathematical formula that later became Maxwell’s fourth equation of electromagnetism in the year 1821. (Peters, 2000) Around the
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The Leyden Jar produced a strange phenomenon which provoked much debate among scientific community at that time. A scientist accidentally received an electric shock from touching the external surface of the jar even though only the inner surface had been charged. (Wolfram Research Products, 2007) This was a strange and unexpected. Many scientists engaged in debate about the a possible explanation behind the above-mentioned phenomenon. While many of the scientists attributed this phenomenon to a theory termed “action at a distance” which presumes that since insulators block electric current, the only reason why a charge is found on the outer surface is that electricity can work at a distance, the way gravity does. They explained that when electricity was accumulating on the inner surface, an electricity of the opposite charge was attracted to the outer surface. Therefore, when the scientist touched the outer surface, he received an electric shock. (The Encyclopedia Americana Corporation, 1918) Maxwell, however, was not satisfied with this explanation. Instead, he thought of Faraday’s “lines of force”. He therefore developed the concept that electricity does not just travel along lines of force but that it also requires a medium to travel in. He pointed out that insulating materials like glass restricts the flow of electric current but it does not terminate it. The restrictive force from the glass prevents electricity from returning to equilibrium until the charging force manages to overcome it. When the charging force eventually manage to overcome the resistance force, the electricity returns to equilibrium through an electric current. (The Encyclopedia Americana Corporation, 1918) His explanation proved to be a more realistic way to interpret the actual physical

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