Magnetic field

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The magnetic field is one of the five fundamental fields that pervade space, along with electric, strong, weak and gravitational fields - although electricity and magnetism have been considered two aspects of one more fundamental field since the late 1800's.

At every point in space, the magnetic field has a value which is a vector, i.e. a strength and a direction.

The magnetic field can exert a force on a magnet, or a moving electrically charged object - including electrons, which make up currents. This effect is used in many ways, including electric motors. A changing magnetic field can effect stationary electrically charged objects - an effect used in electric generators.

Similarly, moving electrically charged objects can effect the magnetic field - an effect used in inductors and transformers, and also the basis of permanent magnets.

See also