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What are the similarities and differences in magnetic and electric field?

Similarities and differences in magnetic and electric field (Dilpreet posted this question)

Similarities Differences
 Both electric and magnetic field are conservative forcesBoth obey inverse square law

Both are non contact forces (Forces can be exerted without contact)

Both are attractive as well as repulsive (Like poles repel, like charges repel; unlike poles attract, unlike charges attract)

 Electric field is produced by a charge whether at rest or in motionBut magnetic field is produced only by a moving charge


The total magnetic flux through any closed surface is always zero, but the total electric flux through any closed surface is equal to the net charge enclosed by the surface multiplied by the reciprocal of absolute permitivity

Electric field lines are discontinuous as they have a starting point (+ charge) and an ending point (- charge); But magnetic field lines are continuous, they always form closed loops


Devices using permanent magnets and electromagnets

Galvin Pinto asked;

  1. List the devices where permanent magnets & electromagnets are used.
  2. Sketch the pattern of the field lines around a current carrying:
    • Straight Conductor

    • Loop of wire

    • Solenoid


    1. Permanent Magnets are used in
      • Laboratory magnets
      • loud speakers
      • microphones
      • cyclotron
      • generators
      • and many more
    2. Pattern of the field lines around a current carrying

    Straight Conductor


    Loop of wire




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