GCSE Physics

Magnetism Around Wires

The shape of the magnetic field around a current-carrying conductor is rather curious: it is circular. The strongest deflection of compasses happens nearest to the wire.

We can draw the field as a series of concentric circles around the wire as shown below. Notice that the circles are closer together nearer the wire: this indicates a stronger field.

wire shown with its magnetic field

Most of the time, it's easier to draw the wire as seen from above or below.

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