Our modern society consumes electrical energy daily, yet we rarely stop to consider the science behind them. Electromagnetic induction is a phenomenon with various practical applications in our daily life, and it is used in electric generators to power our everyday devices.
In addition to power generators, we use many appliances that have their foundation in the law of electromagnetic induction. To understand how electromagnetic induction plays a crucial role in our lives, we must first understand Faraday’s law of induction.
Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction
Faraday’s law is fundamental in our understanding of electromagnetism. The law predicts how a magnetic field interacts with an electric circuit to generate an electromotive force (emf). This phenomenon is referred to as electromagnetic induction.
The law states that a current will be generated in a conductor exposed to a changing magnetic field. Faraday’s law helps to explain many of our home appliances’ working principles, as we will explore further.
How induction cooking utilises Faraday’s law
Induction cooking is performed using direct induction heat instead of relying on traditional thermal conduction. An alternating current (AC) is passed through a coil of wire in an induction stove which produces an oscillating magnetic field. The change in magnetic flux generates induced currents, referred to as eddy currents, in the frying pan’s metal base. The eddy current encounters resistance when it passes through the utensil resulting in resistive heating. The heat produced warms up the pan and cooks the food.
How electrical transformers utilise Faraday’s law
An electrical transformer performs a vital role in our day-to-day usage of electricity. The voltage running through our residential power lines are hundreds of times more powerful than what our appliances require.
The transformer takes the electricity, converts the voltage, and redistributes the energy to another circuit. Without it, many of our devices will explode by coming into contact with such a powerful electric current.
The transformers found in our homes and offices are termed step-down transformers. This device decreases the voltage transmitted from power companies to an acceptable range for home and office use.
The voltage is greater in the primary coil of a step-down transformer and is generally the coil that takes power. The power company passes the AC to the transformer via the primary coil, thereby creating a magnetic flux. The magnetic field then strikes the second coil creating an AC voltage. The transformer decreases the voltage via a magnetic circuit before delivering the current to our plugged-in devices.
The examples mentioned above are just small glimpses of how physics affects our daily life. The wonders of science never cease to amaze, and there are constant discoveries on the horizon. There are many more applications of physics in our lives, and you can have fun exploring them.
If you find yourself struggling with the subject, you can consider taking up a tuition course. We offer O level physics tuition as well as H2 physics tuition. Sign up for our physics tuition classes today!