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University of Waterloo
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
GEN E/ME 123: Electrical Engineering
BASIC ELECTROMAGNETIC LAWS

Dr. Claudio Ca~nizares December 1998

1 Electric Forces and Fields


An electric charge Q [C= coulombs] is surrounded by a eld force E~ [N/C].
When another charge q is placed in this eld at an r distance from Q, a force
F~ [N] is exerted on this charge, either repelling or attracting the charge q:
E

+ F
q
Q

1 q Q ~u
F~ = 4" r2
~ 1 Q
E~ = Fq = 4" r2 ~u
where " = "r"o is the \permittivity" of the material surrounding
 2  the charge
, 12 C
Q. The air has a permittivity of " = "o = 8:854  10 m2N , whereas any
other material has a relative permittivity "r 6= 1 (e.g., for paper "r  6). The
Basic Electromagnetic Laws 2

unitary vector ~u de nes the direction of the force and eld in space, which
are always radial to the charged surface.

2 Voltage
Voltage v(t) [V= Volts = Joules/coulomb] is similar to a \potential energy
height," and represents the energy needed to move a positive charge q from
a to b in an electric eld E~ , i.e.,
E b

l
l

v(t) = vba(t) = vb , va
= Wqba
Z b
= , E~  d~l
a
The negative sign is needed to indicate that the energy is exerted by an
external force. The point of higher potential is de ned as +, whereas the
lower one is ,. Notice that the voltage is path independent, as it represents
energy.
Basic Electromagnetic Laws 3

3 Gauss's Law and Electric Fields


For charged surfaces S , the electric eld E~ can be computed using Gauss's
law:
E

dS

S
q

I
" S E~  dS~ = q
H
where S is a surface integral. This equation, for constant electric elds, can
be usually reduced to:
"E S = q
The electric led is then de ned for any surface S as:
Z
E = " S E~  dS~
Z
= D~  dS~
S
where D~ = "E~ is the electric ux density. For constant electric elds on the
surface S,
E = " E S

4 Current
The current i(t) [A= Amperes = C/s] represents a net positive charge \ ow,"
i.e.,
Basic Electromagnetic Laws 4

i(t) = ddQt
Z t
) Q(t) = Q(0) + 0 i( ) d
The analogy for the current is the \water ow in pipes."

5 Power
The instantaneous power p(t) [W = Watts] is then de ned as:
p(t) = v(t) i(t)
Z t
) W (t) = W (0) + 0 p( )d
In an electric device the power can be either delivered (source) or absorbed
(load), i.e.,
Basic Electromagnetic Laws 5
pd pa

i 111
000
000
111 b
111
000
000
111
b
i

+ +

v v

- -

111
000 111
000
SOURCE
000
111 a
000
111
a
LOAD

pd = v i = ,pa pa = v i = ,pd

6 Resistance (Ohm's Law)


Any material presents a resistance R [
] to the current ow, and is repre-
sented by:

i
l ρ
+
-

i
v R
v

-
Α
+

R =  Al
Basic Electromagnetic Laws 6

v(t) = R i(t) ) p(t) = R i2(t)


where  stands for the material \resistivity" in [
m].
The inverse of R is known as the conductance G [S= Siemens, or 0=
Mho]:
G = R1 =  Al
where  = 1= is known as the \conductivity."

7 Capacitor
A pair of metal plates of area A separated an l distance by an insulator
material of permittivity ", create an electric eld E~ and a capacitance C [F=
Farads]:
+

i i

+
+Q

A
v v C
l E ε

-
-Q
-

C = Qv = " Al

i(t) = C dvd(tt)
Z t
1
) v(t) = v(0) + C 0 i( ) d
W (t) = 12 C v2(t)
Basic Electromagnetic Laws 7

8 Magnetic Fields
A wire conducting a current i, produces a magnetic eld H~ around it:
H

i
r

l
H~  d~l = i
Typically, assuming
H
that H [A/m] is constant, the equation with the closed-
path integration l is reduced to the magneto-motive force (MMF) equation
Hl=i ) i (wire)
H = 2r
The magnetic eld H~ is related to the magnetic ux density B~ [T=Telsa]
by
B~ =  H~
where  represents the \permeability" of the environment. For air,  = 0 =
4  10,7 [H=m], whereas for a magnetic material (e.g., iron)  = r 0, with
r = 2; 000 to 4; 000. Magnetic materials present hysteresis losses (heat),
and saturate at large currents; these materials may have a B 6= 0 when
H = 0 (i = 0), somewhat similar to permanent magnets.
If the wire is submerged in a external magnetic ux density B~ , the wire
magnetic eld interacts with this ux to produce a force:
Basic Electromagnetic Laws 8

0110
l

F~ = i ~l  B~

9 Inductance
A coil made up of N turns of wire wrapped around an iron core of per-
meability , area A and average length l, creates a total magnetic ux 
[Wb=Weber] in the core:
 = N
Z B
B = A B~  dA~ = B A
and an inductance L [H= Henries]:
A i

ψ +

i
+
l
v N v L

µ
-
Basic Electromagnetic Laws 9

L = i =  N l A
2

Based on Faraday's law:


v(t) = dd(tt)
the following circuit equations can be de ned for the inductance:
v(t) = L did(tt)
Z t
) i(t) = i(0) + 1 v( ) d
L 0

W (t) = 21 L i2(t)
The inductor is the dual of the capacitor, i.e., one can obtain the inductor
equations by replacing in the capacitor equations v for i, i for v, and L for
C.