Then, if sliding the moveable conductor in a given direction increases the value of , a negative electromotive force will act in the circuit , tending to produce a negative current in during the motion of the sliding-piece.
If a current be kept up in the circuit , then the sliding-piece will itself tend to move in that direction, which causes M to increase. At every point of the field there will always be a certain direction such that a conductor moved in that direction does not experience any electromotive force in whatever direction its extremities are turned. A conductor carrying a current will experience no mechanical force urging it in that direction or the opposite.
This direction is called the direction of the line of magnetic force through that point.
Motion of a conductor across such a line produces electromotive force in a direction perpendicular to the line and to the direction of motion, and a conductor carrying a current is urged in a direction perpendicular to the line and to the direction of the current.
(48) We may next suppose to consist of a very small plane circuit capable of being placed in any position and of having its plane turned in any direction. The value of will be greatest when the plane of the circuit is perpendicular to the line of magnetic force. Hence if a current is maintained in it will tend to set itself in this position, and will of itself indicate, like a magnet, the direction of the magnetic force.
On Lines of Magnetic Force.
(49) Let any surface be drawn, cutting the lines of magnetic force, and on this surface let any system of lines be drawn at small intervals, so as to lie side by side without cutting each other. Next, let any line be drawn on the surface cutting all these lines, and let a second line be drawn near it, its distance from the first being such that the value of for each of the small spaces enclosed between these two lines and the lines of the first system is equal to unity.
In this way let more lines be drawn so as to form a second system, so that the value of for every reticulation formed by the intersection of the two systems of lines is unity.
Finally, from every point of intersection of these reticulations let a line be drawn through the field, always coinciding in direction with the direction of magnetic force.
(50) In this way the whole field will be filled with lines of magnetic force at regular intervals, and the properties of the electromagnetic field will be completely expressed by them.
For, 1st, If any closed curve be drawn in the field, the value of for that curve will be expressed by the number of lines of force which pass through that closed curve.
2ndly. If this curve be a conducting circuit and be moved through the field, an electromotive force will act in it, represented by the rate of decrease of the number of lines passing through the curve.
3rdly. If a current be maintained in the circuit, the conductor will be acted on by forces tending to move it so as to increase the number of lines passing through it, and