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What is Electromagnetic Power?

By Jason C. Chavis
Updated May 21, 2024
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Electromagnetic power utilizes the force on particles from the electromagnetic field. The concept produces electricity through the use of the changes in the magnetic field. This is found most readily within systems such as electric generators, alternating current motors and transformers.

The property of electromagnetic power was first identified on 21 April 1820 by Hans Christian Orsted. While preparing for a lecture, he noticed that the electric current of a battery caused a compass needle to move. Honoring his discovery, the individual unit of magnetic induction is referred to as an oersted.

Following Orsted's discovery, a number of researchers attempted to understand the phenomena in what became the scientific discipline of electrodynamics. Some of the most notable individuals working in the field included Andre-Marie Ampere, Michael Faraday and Heinrich Hertz. Research showed that electromagnetic power was responsible for nearly all forms of radiation from radio waves to gamma rays.

Albert Einstein also researched electromagnetic power in the early 20th century. He postulated that the principles of electromagnetism were responsible for the photoelectric effect and the existence of photons. This meant that the existence of the magnetic field and its forces were important to nearly all aspects of visible light.

Electromagnetic power is considered to one of the fundamental forces in physics that explains the workings of the universe. Interactions between atoms are caused by this force electrically stimulating protons and electrons of the atoms. All objects in the universe contain this fundamental force. Within the human body, the electromagnetism of cells is responsible for allowing people to move objects. Chemically, the magnetic attraction of electrons results in all reactions between substances.

In terms of mechanical devices, electromagnetic power is essential to the production and use of electricity. Mechanical energy can be converted to electrical energy using the concept of induction. Voltage is produced by placing a conductor in a magnetic field which changes. Essentially, the electricity already exists within the device, it just needs to be stimulated by changing the magnetic field. As the magnetic flux changes in a closed circuit, the side effect is the stimulation of electrons resulting in the production of electrical power.

The opposite effect of converting electrical energy to mechanical energy is also caused by electromagnetism. A motor drawing either direct current or alternating current from a power source converts the energy. As the electricity passes through the motor, the magnetic field is fluctuated, creating mechanical power.

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Discussion Comments
By anon955123 — On Jun 05, 2014

Why do you guys leave Tesla out of the listing of notable individuals? When you think of electromagnetism you think Tesla.

By jbradsha — On Oct 20, 2009

How do I print the article so the words are not cut off?

By anon49344 — On Oct 19, 2009

Brilliant, good feedback.Thanks

By anon49241 — On Oct 19, 2009

Excellent articles and very good effort. Thanks.

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