What is Magnetic Flux?

Magnetic flux is an important part of how we use and generate electricity. To fully understand it would require a daily healthy background in math with a little science thrown in.

Here it is in simple terms.

When energy hits magnets, it can be used to create motion. That motion can be captured as energy in the form of electricity. Rapidly spinning rods or paddles inside a magnetic field can power almost everything.

Better yet, energy can be created by reversing the process. That is, if you capture motion and spinning, say through wind turbines or motion created by sea waves, you can create electricity using magnetic flux.

A little more in-depth:

Magnetic flux is what generates the field around a magnetic material. This field is the area where something is attracted to or repelled from the magnet.

The magnetic field consists of photons.

“Wait, don’t photons come from the sun?” you ask. Yes, but those photons arrive at a high frequency. Magnet photons are at a much lower frequency. For this reason, magnetic fields or magnetic lines are not visible to the naked eye, though you can feel their effect on nearby metals.

The alignment of electrons in the atomic shells (sometimes referred to as Ferromagnets in honor of the person who first recorded identifying them) provides a material with its magnetism.

The number of magnetic field lines passing through a surface such as a loop of wire creates an imbalance. However, nature prefers balance, and will seek to remedy the imbalance by moving electrons through the wire.

This is electricity.

Faraday cage

The magnetic flux through a closed surface (such as a ball) is always zero. This helps explain why you can stand in the area of a Faraday cage at a local science museum and large amounts of electricity can pass through it but you remain safe.

A Faraday cage distributes the electricity across the surface, allowing it to discharge and find balance. Learning this information helped us master and manage electricity at a massive scale.

Despite being dangerous, electricity behaves in predictable ways, and we can plan for how to store and transmit it, and how to bring it into your house safely.

Photo by Dan-Cristian Pădureț on Unsplash

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