How Electromagnetism Works

The branch of physics known as electromagnetism is concerned with the electromagnetic force that is generated by electrically charged particles.

This force is one of four such fundamental forces and demonstrates electromagnetic fields that include the likes of electric fields, light, and magnetic fields. This is the reason why electrics are bound to the nucleus and is responsible for its complete structure.

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How Electromagnetism Works

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The nature of an electromagnetic force

An electromagnetic force is a term given to physical interaction that takes place between particles that are electrically charged, acting between these charged particles and combining all electrical and magnetic forces in either an attractive or repulsive manner.

It was once believed that magnetism and electricity were completely different forces, with scientists not realizing they were interrelated until the 19th century and them being established as being part of the same phenomenon by Albert Einstein in 1905.

Practically however magnetic and electric forces do exhibit very different behavior and need different equations to describe them. Moving charges are needed to produce magnetic forces and will only act on motion charges, while electric forces can be produced by electric charges that are either in motion or even actually at rest.

Electric phenomena can even take place in the neutral matter as the forces are able to act on individually charged constituents, with the electric force being largely the cause of the majority of chemical and physical properties of molecules and atoms and for the thunder and lightning that accompany some storms.

Magnetic and electric forces are both able to be detected in magnetic and electric fields, which are able to be a long way away from the current or charge that was responsible for their creation. Magnetic fields are able to be produced by electric forces as well as vice versa without the need for an external charge.

Magnetic and electric fields were proved to be traveling together through space as electromagnetic radiation waves by physicist James Clerk Maxwell. Modern-day examples of this are gamma rays, infrared waves, microwaves, radio waves, television waves, ultraviolet light, visible light, and X-rays.

These waves all travel at the velocity of light, differing only in the oscillation frequency of their magnetic and electric fields.


The science of electricity is a very important element of electromagnetism. This science deals with the way aggregates of charge behave, including distributing that charge within matter and charge motion between different places.

Material types are classed as either insulators or conductors depending on whether charges have freedom of movement through constituent matter. The measure of charge flow is an electric current, with their governing laws of crucial importance in areas such as technology and especially in the control, distribution, and production of energy.

Voltage is of fundamental importance to electricity, measuring the propensity of charge when flowing between different places.

Electromagnetic phenomena are pervasive in our everyday life, with magnets instrumental in everything from the receiving of information by radios and televisions to starting a motor vehicle and just switching on a light bulb.

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