The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Electromagnetism is the branch of science concerned with the forces that occur between electrically charged particles. Use this tag for anything related to electricity, electrical or magnetic fields (such as microwave radiation), etc.

Electro-Magnetic Force
source

Electromagnetic force is one of the four fundamental interactions in nature, the other three being the strong interaction, the weak interaction and gravitation.

Electromagnetism is the interaction responsible for practically all the phenomena encountered in daily life, with the exception of gravity. Ordinary matter takes its form as a result of intermolecular forces between individual molecules in matter.

Electrons are bound by electromagnetic wave mechanics into orbitals around atomic nuclei to form atoms, which are the building blocks of molecules. This governs the processes involved in chemistry, which arise from interactions between the electrons of neighbouring atoms, which are in turn determined by the interaction between electromagnetic force and the momentum of the electrons.

James Clerk Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell

Electromagnetism manifests as both electric fields and magnetic fields. Both fields are simply different aspects of electromagnetism, and hence are intrinsically related. Thus, a changing electric field generates a magnetic field; conversely a changing magnetic field generates an electric field. This effect is called electromagnetic induction, and is the basis of operation for electrical generators, induction motors, and transformers.

Electric fields are the cause of several common phenomena, such as electric potential (such as the voltage of a battery) and electric current (such as the flow of electricity through a flashlight). Magnetic fields are the cause of the force associated with magnets.

history | excerpt history