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ERIC Number: EJ860219
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
The Biot-Savart Law: From Infinitesimal to Infinite
Phillips, Jeffrey A.; Sanny, Jeff
Physics Teacher, v46 n1 p44-47 Jan 2008
In this paper, we discuss a simple apparatus and accompanying class activity that we have developed to illustrate the Biot-Savart law. Since students in introductory electricity and magnetism courses often find this law a mathematical mystery, we feel that a simple experiment such as this will provide the students a better understanding of the concepts introduced. By collecting data from several finite segment lengths, students are able to infer the 1/r[superscript 2] distance dependence of the magnetic field for infinitesimal segments and the 1/r dependence for infinite wires.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A