Practical Applications of Electromagnetism
The fact of the electricity and magnetism interrelationship being discovered to give way to electromagnetism is hugely relevant when it comes to practical applications in modern life. True, it is the basis for the nebulous and largely theoretical worlds of quantum physics and quantum mechanics, but the fact is for most people it is what makes the world go around.
The basic principle behind how electromagnetism is generated is the core concept of household electricity. The fact that we can turn the power on and off at will is a convenience that we all take for granted but is actually a crucial part of modern living. Because an electromagnetic field produces the energy that makes any gadget or appliance work, its continued presence is necessary to keep the machine or motor going. It is only through the passing of an electrical current that this electromagnetic field can be generated, the modern householder can control when that field is produced by simply flipping a switch. This in turn cuts off or supplies the electrical current that drives the electromagnetic field. Voila! Power at the flick of a finger!
Gadgets that make use of electromagnetism exploit the fact that the flow of electricity dictates when the magnetic field is energized, thus having control of this flow makes the gadget work as needed. An electromagnet is typically constructed of an iron core with a conductor such as copper wound around it which will carry the current that will activate the magnetic field. The strength of the field will depend on the amount of current that passes through the copper coil. A good example would be those large magnets that move heavy metal objects around a junkyard. An electric current energizes the magnet, causing metal to get attracted so that they can be moved. Once the object is in position, the electric current is cut off, causing the magnet to de-energize and release the object.
Common household appliances also use electromagnetism to work, such as televisions, electric fans, door bells, electronic door locks, loudspeakers, audio and video tapes, computers, and storage devices. Mobile phones would not be possible without electromagnetic pulses to carry the signals, and in the medical field, it is used in diagnostic equipment such as the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans. Electromagnets are also used for magnetic levitation (Maglev) trains.
These are just a few of the more obvious uses of electromagnetism. With technology and science developing at lightning speeds, it is entirely possible that there will be more uses for electromagnetism in the future. Right now, it is a crucial part of daily life.