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GENERAL PHENOMENA1
323
MAGNETISM


it. A south pole would be urged oppositely to the conventional “ direction ” of the line; hence it follows that a very small magnetic needle, if placed in the field, would tend to set itself along or tangentially to the line of force passing through its centre, as may be approximately verihed if the compass be placed among the filings on the cardboard. In the internal field of a long coil of wire carrying an electric current, the lines of force are, except near the ends, parallel to the axis of the coil, and it is chiefly for this reason that the field due to a coil is particularly well adapted for inductively magnetizing iron and steel. The older operation of magnetizing a steel bar by drawing a magnetic pole along it merely consists in exposing successive portions of the bar to the action of the strong field near the pole.

Faraday's lines not only show the direction of the magnetic force, but also serve to indicate its magnitude or strength in different parts of the field. Where the lines are crowded together, as in the neighbourhood of the poles, the force is greater (or the field is stronger) than where they are more widely separated; hence the strength of a field at any point can be accurately specified by reference to the concentration of the lines. The lines presented to the eye by the scattered filings are too vague and ill-defined to give a satisfactory indication of the field-strength (see Faraday, Experimental Researches, § 3237) though they show its direction clearly enough. It is however easy to demonstrate by means of the compass that the force is much greater in some parts of the field than in others. Lay the compass upon the cardboard, and observe the rate at which its needle vibrates after being displaced from its position of equilibrium; this will vary greatly in different regions. When the compass is far from the magnet, the vibrations will be comparatively slow; when it is near a pole, they will be exceedingly rapid, the frequency of the vibrations varying as the square root of the magnetic force at the spot. In a refined form this method is often employed for' measuring the intensity of a magnetic field at a given place, just as the intensity of gravity at different parts of the earth is deduced from observations of the rate at which a pendulum of known length vibrates.

It is to the non-uniformity of the field surrounding a magnet that the apparent attraction between a magnet and a magnetizable body such as iron is ultimately due. This was pointed out by W. Thomson (afterwards Lord Kelvin) in 1847, as the result of a mathematical investigation undertaken to explain Faraday's experimental observations. If the inductively magnetized body lies in a part of the field which happens to be uniform there will be no resulting force tending to move the body, and it will not be “ attracted.” If however there is a small variation of the force in the space occupied by the body, it can be shown that the body will be urged, not necessarily towards a magnetic pole, but towards places of stronger magnetic force. It will not in general move along a line of force, as would an isolated pole, but will follow the direction in which the magnetic force increases most rapidly, and in so doing it may cross the lines of force obliquely or even at right angles.

If a magnetized needle were supported so that it could move freely'about its centreof gravity it would not generally settle with its axis in a horizontal position, but would come to rest with its north-seeking pole either higher or lower than its centre. For the practical observation of this phenomenon it is usual to employ a needle which can turn freely in the plane of the magnetic meridian upon a horizontal axis passing through the centre of gravity of the needle. The angle which the magnetic axis makes with the plane of the horizon is called the inclination or dip. Along an irregular line encircling the earth in the neighbourhood of the geographical equator the needle takes up a horizontal position, and the dip is zero. At places north of this line, which is called the magnetic equator, the north end of the needle points downwards, the inclination generally becoming greater with increased distance from the equator. Within a certain small area in the Arctic Circle (about 97° W. long., 70° N. lat.) the north pole of the needle points vertically downwards, the dip being 9o°. South of the magnetic equator the south end of the needle is always inclined downwards, and there is a spot within the Antarctic Circle (r48° E. long., 74° S. lat.) where the needle again stands vertically, but with its north end directed upwards. All these observations may be accounted for by the fact first recognized by W. Gilbert in 1600, that the earth itself is a great magnet, having its poles at the two places where the dipping needle is vertical. To be consistent with the terminology adopted in Britain, it is necessary to regard the pole which is geographically north as being the south pole of the terrestrial magnet, and that which is geographically south as the north pole; in practice however .the names assigned to the terrestrial magnetic poles correspond with their geographical situations. Within a limited space, such as that contained in a room, the field due to the earth's magnetism is sensibly uniform, the lines of force being parallel straight lines inclined to the horizon at the angle of dip, which at Greenwich in rgro was about 67°. It is by the horizontal component of the earth's total force that the compass-needle is directed.

The magnets hitherto considered have been assumed to have each two poles, the one north and the other south. It is possible that there may be more-than two. If, for example, a knitting needle is stroked with the south pole of a magnet, the strokes being directed from the middle of the needle towards the two extremities alternately, the needle will acquire a north pole at each end and a south pole in the middle. By suitably modifying the manipulation a further number of consequent poles, as they are called, may be developed. It is also possible that a magnet may have no poles at all. Let a magnetic pole' be drawn several times around a uniform steel ring, so that every part of the ring may be successively subjected to the magnetic force. If the operation has been skilfully performed the ring will have no poles and will not attract iron filings. Yet it will be magnetized; for if it is cut through and the cut ends are drawn apart, each end will be found to exhibit polarity. Again, a steel wire through which an electric current has been passed will be magnetized, but so long as it is free from stress it will give no evidence of magnetization; if, however, the wire is twisted, poles will be developed at the.two ends, for reasons which will be explained later. A wire or rod in this condition is said to be circularly magnetized; it may be regarded as consisting of an indefinite number of elementary ring-magnets, having their axes coincident with the axis of the wire and their planes at right angles to it. But no magnet can have a single pole; if there is one, there must also be at least a second, of the opposite sign and of exactly equal strength. Let a magnetized knitting needle, having north and south poles at the two ends respectively, be broken in the middle; each half will be found to possess a north and a south pole, the appropriate supplementary poles appearing at the broken ends. One of the fragments may again be broken, and again two bipolar magnets will be produced; and the operation may be repeated, at least in imagination, till we arrive at molecular magnitudes and can go no farther. This experiment proves that the condition of magnetization is not confined to those parts where polar phenomena are exhibited, but exists throughout the whole body of the magnet; it also suggests the idea of molecular magnetism, upon which the accepted theory of magnetization is based. According to this theory the molecules of any magnetizable substance are little permanent magnets the axes of which are, under ordinary conditions, disposed in all possible directions indifferently. The process of magnetization consists in turning round the molecules by the application of magnetic force, so that their north poles may all point more or less approximately in the direction of the force; thus the body as a whole becomes a magnet which is merely the resultant of an immense number of molecular magnets.

In every magnet the strength of the south pole is exactly equal to that of the north pole, the action of the same magnetic force upon the two poles being equal and oppositely directed. This may be shown by means of the uniform field of force due to the earth's magnetism. A magnet attached to a cork and