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Displacement current

British physicist James C. Maxwell gave final shape to all phenomenon connecting electricity

and magnetism. He noticed an inconsistency in Ampere’s Law connecting Electric current and

magnetic fields and an asymmetry in the laws of electromagnetism.

Displacement current

Where I is the conduction current across a surface whose periphery is the loop C. Let’s consider

a parallel plate capacitor shown by the two plates which is being charged with a battery.

During the time when capacitor is being charged, a current I flows through the connecting wires

which varies with respect to time.

This current will produce a magnetic field around the wires which can be detected using a

compass

• Along with S1 the magnetic field is also observed at location S2 though no current is threading

through this loop.

Maxwell suggested that varying electric field within two plates produce this magnetic field. Hence this

varying electric field is equivalent to a current. He called this Displacement current

• Certain well-known physics experiments demonstrate the magnetic field produced by Maxwell's

displacement current addresses the question of whether the displacement current acts as a

source of magnetic field in the same way as a current in a wire would. Expression for this current

is given in Maxwell’s equation.

Maxwell’s Equations

• Maxwell's equations are complete sum up of electromagnetism.

• It informs us the relationships and interdependence between electrical fields, magnetic fields ,

Electric current and the charge based on their time dependence.

Electromagnetic Waves

Electromagnetic waves are waves which can travel through the vacuum of outer space as well as

material. They do not need material medium.

1. Characteristics of EM waves:

(i) They travel in space with speed of light 3 x 108 ms-1 irrespective of their wavelength or

frequency.

C =

In a medium, it is given by V=

medium

(ii) They are neutral, so are not deflected by electric and magnetic fields.

polarisation.

(iv) They are transverse in nature. E and B fields are perpendicular to each other as well as

to the direction of propagation with E and B vectors are always in same phase.

E is the electric field vector and B is the magnetic field vector of the EM wave. K is

Propagation factor given by 2Π/ λ and Speed of the wave is given by ω/k.

For electromagnetic waves E and B are always perpendicular to each other, and

perpendicular to the direction of propagation. The direction of propagation is the

direction of EXB.

(v) The ratio of E and B field vectors gives ‘c’ the speed of light which is also calculated in

𝐄 𝟏

terms of permeability and permittivity of free space. 𝐁

= = 𝟑 𝐱 𝟏𝟎𝟖 𝐦𝐬−𝟏

√𝛆 𝟎 𝛍 𝟎

(vi) The energy is propagated by means of E and B field vectors in the direction of

propagation of waves. The average values of energy densities of E and B are ½ ε0E2

and B2/2µ0

(vii) The electric vector of EM waves is responsible for the optical effects and hence also

called the light vector.

LC circuit is example of oscillating circuit.

Directions and nature : Electromagnetic waves are transverse in the sense that associated

electric and magnetic field vectors are both perpendicular to the direction of wave propagation.

Massless objects such as photons also carry momentum. The formula is:

Where h is Planck's constant, λ is the

wavelength of the photon, E is the energy the photon carries and c is the speed of light.

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