Discoveries about the interactions that take place between charged particles and electric and magnetic fields not only produced significant advances in physics, but also led to significant technological developments. These developments include the generation and distribution of electricity, and the invention of numerous devices that convert electrical energy into other forms of energy.

Understanding the similarities and differences in the interactions of single charges in electric and magnetic fields provides students with a conceptual foundation for this module. Phenomena that include the force produced on a current-carrying wire in a magnetic field, the force between currentcarrying wires, Faraday’s Law of Electromagnetic Induction, the principles of transformers and the workings of motors and generators can all be understood as instances of forces acting on moving charged particles in magnetic fields.

The law of conservation of energy underpins all of these interactions. The conversion of energy into forms other than the intended form is a problem that constantly drives engineers to improve designs of electromagnetic devices.

Contextual Outline - Students learn to:

  • develops and evaluates questions and hypotheses for scientific investigation PH11/12-1
  • designs and evaluates investigations in order to obtain primary and secondary data and information PH11/12-2
  • conducts investigations to collect valid and reliable primary and secondary data and information PH11/12-3
  • selects and processes appropriate qualitative and quantitative data and information using a range of appropriate media PH11/12-4
  • analyses and evaluates primary and secondary data and information PH11/12-5
  • explains and analyses the electric and magnetic interactions due to charged particles and currents and evaluates their effect both qualitatively and quantitatively

Extract from Physics Stage 6 Syllabus © 2017 NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA)