Results: current density

accessibility_new Kinesthetic

10 min.

Acting Out Current Density

Steady current current density magnetic field idealization

Ring Cycle Sequence

Integration Sequence

Students, pretending they are point charges, move around the room so as to make an imaginary magnetic field meter register a constant magnetic field, introducing the concept of steady current. Students act out linear \(\vec{I}\), surface \(\vec{K}\), and volume \(\vec{J}\) current densities. The instructor demonstrates what it means to measure these quantities by counting how many students pass through a gate.

assignment Homework

Total Current, Square Cross-Section
  1. Current \(I\) flows down a wire (length \(L\)) with square cross-section (side \(a\)). If it is uniformly distributed over the entire area, what is the magnitude of the volume current density \(\vec{J}\)?
  2. If the current is uniformly distributed over the outer surface only, what is the magnitude of the surface current density \(\vec{K}\)?

assignment Homework

Total Current, Circular Cross Section

A current \(I\) flows down a cylindrical wire of radius \(R\).

  1. If it is uniformly distributed over the surface, give a formula for the surface current density \(\vec K\).
  2. If it is distributed in such a way that the volume current density, \(|\vec J|\), is inversely proportional to the distance from the axis, give a formula for \(\vec J\).

assignment Homework

Magnetic Field and Current
Consider the magnetic field \[ \vec{B}(s,\phi,z)= \begin{cases} 0&0\le s<a\\ \alpha \frac{1}{s}(s^4-a^4)\, \hat{\phi}&a<s<b\\ 0&s>b \end{cases} \]
  1. Use step and/or delta functions to write this magnetic field as a single expression valid everywhere in space.
  2. Find a formula for the current density that creates this magnetic field.
  3. Interpret your formula for the current density, i.e. explain briefly in words where the current is.

assignment Homework

Current from a Spinning Cylinder
A solid cylinder with radius \(R\) and height \(H\) has its base on the \(x,y\)-plane and is symmetric around the \(z\)-axis. There is a fixed volume charge density on the cylinder \(\rho=\alpha z\). If the cylinder is spinning with period \(T\):
  1. Find the volume current density.
  2. Find the total current.

assignment Homework

Current in a Wire
The current density in a cylindrical wire of radius \(R\) is given by \(\vec{J}(\vec{r})=\alpha s^3\cos^2\phi\,\hat{z}\). Find the total current in the wire.

format_list_numbered Sequence

Ring Cycle Sequence
Students calculate electrostatic fields (\(V\), \(\vec{E}\)) and magnetostatic fields (\(\vec{A}\), \(\vec{B}\)) from charge and current sources with a common geometry. The sequence of activities is arranged so that the mathematical complexity of the formulas students encounter increases with each activity. Several auxiliary activities allow students to focus on the geometric/physical meaning of the distance formula, charge densities, and steady currents. A meta goal of the entire sequence is that students gain confidence in their ability to parse and manipulate complicated equations.
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