News | Published:

Matter and Magneto-Electric Action 1

    Naturevolume 25pages539543 (1882) | Download Citation



    THE late Prof. Clerk Maxwell, in his work on “Electricity and Magnetism” (vol. ii. p. 146), lays down as a principle that “the mechanical force which urges a conductor carrying a current across the lines of magnetic force, acts, not on the electric current, but on the conductor which carries it. If the conductor be a rotating disk or a fluid it will move in obedience to this force, and this motion may or may not be accompanied with a change of position of the electric current which it carries. But if the current itself be free to choose any path through a fixed solid conductor or a network of wires, then, when a constant magnetic force is made to act on the system, the path of the current through the conductors is not permanently altered, but after certain transient phenomena, called induction currents, have subsided, the distribution of the current will be found to be the same as if no magnetic force were in action. The only force which acts on electric currents is electromotive force, which must be distinguished from the mechanical force which is the subject of this chapter.”

    About this article

    Publication history

    Issue Date



    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing