Page:A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field.pdf/21

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PROFESSOR CLERK MAXWELL ON THE ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD.

the amount of work done by these forces is equal to the current in the circuit multiplied by the number of additional lines.

4thly. If a small plane circuit be placed in the field, and be free to turn, it will place its plane perpendicular to the lines of force. A small magnet will place itself with its axis in the direction of the lines of force.

5thly. If a long uniformly magnetized bar is placed in the field, each pole will be acted on by a force in the direction of the lines of force. The number of lines of force passing through unit of area is equal to the force acting on a unit pole multiplied by a coefficient depending on the magnetic nature of the medium, and called the coefficient of magnetic induction.

In fluids and isotropic solids the value of the coefficient is the same in whatever direction the lines of force pass through the substance, but in crystallized, strained, and organized solids the value of may depend on the direction of the lines of force with respect to the axes of crystallization, strain, or growth.

In all bodies is affected by temperature, and in iron it appears to diminish as the intensity of the magnetization increases.


On Magnetic Equipotential Surfaces.

(51) If we explore the field with a uniformly magnetized bar, so long that one of its poles is in a very weak part of the magnetic field, then the magnetic forces will perform work on the other pole as it moves about the field.

If we start from a given point, and move this pole from it to any other point, the work performed will be independent of the path of the pole between the two points; provided that no electric current passes between the different paths pursued by the pole.

Hence, when there are no electric currents but only magnets in the field, we may draw as series of surfaces such that the work done in passing from one to another shall be constant whatever be the path pursued between them. Such surfaces are called Equipotential Surfaces, and in ordinary cases are perpendicular to the lines of magnetic force.

If these surfaces are so drawn that, when a unit pole passes from any one to the next in order, unity of work is done, then the work done in any motion of a magnetic pole will be measured by the strength of the pole multiplied by the number of surfaces which it has passed through in the positive direction.

(52) If there are circuits carrying electric currents in the field, then there will still be equipotential surfaces in the parts of the field external to the conductors carrying the currents, but the work done on a unit pole in passing from one to another will depend on the number of times which the path of the pole circulates round any of these currents. Hence the potential in each surface will have a series of values in arithmetical progression, differing by the work done in passing completely round one of the currents in the field.

The equipotential surfaces will not be continuous closed surfaces, but some of them