In my article on electricity we saw how an electric current comprised of numerous electrons in motion created by photon energy exchanges between them. We learnt that such electron movements are slow even though a one amp current is 6.25 billion, billion electron movements past a wire location every single second. What we did not learn was that all atomic particles have a spin property that is responsible for magnetism.
Quantum physics says the particle spin property should not be regarded as real spin because a spinning ball like particle could not deliver the angular momentum observed. If we stop thinking of particles as being ball like or point like and see them as comprised of many energy fragments then the spin of a particle can be the total spin of its many fragments just as planetary spins is the sum of particle spins.
Within an atom there is much energy symmetry. Many electrons are paired so that their motion and spin energies cancel one another. That is not the case with unpaired outer electrons. When they have random motions their linear and spin energies cancel one another but when motions have direction, as for an electric current flow their spin energies support one another. Not only do we have linear electron photon exchanges but also rotational photon energies.
The diagram shows the direction of the circular magnetic energy field around a current carrying wire. Its direction is shown by the curl of your fingers when your right thumb points in the direction of current flow (opposite to electron movements and photon energy pushes). What is this magnetic field?
It is one of low energy curving photons spun outward by the numerous same direction spins of the moving wire electrons. These photons are attracted back to join the linear flows of photons desired and absorbed by those moving electrons. To put it another way, the magnetic fields around current carrying wires are high volumes of photon energies that spiral outward from moving electron particles and then inward to moving electron particles. We see this photon energy field as circular and diminishing with distance from the wire.
Let us consider just two outer electrons in motion with movements into the paper (equivalent to a miniscule current flow toward us – hence the dots inside the electron circles). Be aware that our diagram is limited because we cannot show the vast distances electrons are apart relative to their size so some imagination is needed.
Around the electrons we show just a tiny few of the vast numbers of paths that low energy rotational photons take. Between the electrons photon directions conflict. Such conflicts cause photons to change their would be paths. Some now curve rapidly inward and contribute to electron linear energy (current) flows whilst others take longer routes round both electrons before being similarly absorbed. I hope you can see that even in this simple scene photons and their energy are spending longer times in the surround space.
Now consider a current of one amp flowing in a wire. Some 6.25 billion, billion electrons are now sending out like directional spin photons that are conflicting. Many photons are now taking much longer paths from source electron to destination electron and lots of those are external to and go around the wire. Most rotational photons return to in-wire electrons but their paths will be influenced by other close structures.
Essentially we should see that larger currents result in longer photon paths and larger energy fields around the wire. When a voltage is increasing some of the increased photon energy exchanges between electrons go toward extending the photon energy paths of the magnetic field. The extended paths delay the return of these photons to absorbing electrons. As they are a part of the observed current flow we see a delayed rise in current. The stored photon energies of the magnetic field are being increased at the expense of the photon delivered electron movements.
The above is why a rising voltage delivers a delayed current rise. Science calls the effect inductance, in this case self inductance, and sees it as a temporary electromotive force (voltage) induced in the wire that opposes the current rise.
Single wires unlike coils have low inductance. A solenoid is a coil of close wound wire. When a current flows in it the photon energies round each wire now conflict with those in wires next to them and billions of them take paths like the example paths shown in the cross section.
What we now have is a a substantial magnetic energy field. As for a wire, when a coil supply voltage rises the energy field builds and delays the photon energy pushes that deliver current flow.
When the supply voltage collapses the collapsing field energy provides photon pressures on the wire electrons (voltage) that try to sustain the current and thereby delay its fall. The collapsing energy field photon induced voltage push on the electrons can be considerably higher than the voltage source. If there is no natural current path and the induced photon energies are high the air electrons in an electric switch may be moved between atoms and emit a spark as they give up their gained energies. If induced energies are low and there is no current path the energies may dissipate as heat in the wire.
The curving photon flows develop from electron energy emissions and desires but we may still wonder why the coil photons do not go hurtling off into space. It is because like photon energies interact with one another in flows. Photon energies like particle mass energies have not got absolutely fixed energies. Photons interact with other photons and take a path of least energy expenditure which usually means moving into a photon vacated space.
Magnetic materials like iron have soft flexible particle structures and do not make good magnets. Their grain structures can turn so that their outer electrons near align and act in a supportive way when in the presence of an external magnetic field. Magnetic photon energies like to interact with iron structures and the particles of iron are attracted to the photon flows of magnetic fields. Magnetic photons are low energy, highly curving photons that nuclear particles desire and are therefore highly sought of by electrons.
Iron is much used in transformers and electrical machines to extend and direct magnetic energy paths. Iron has no difficulty repetitively changing its structure when subjected to alternating magnetic fields. You might wonder at why iron is a good magnetic material whilst copper and aluminium are poor magnetic materials. The reason is that iron atoms holds onto their outer electrons about 6 times more strongly than copper atoms do. Whilst copper and aluminium electrons subjected to photon pressures move from atom to atom, iron electrons remain with their parent atoms but relocate and align to suit the external photon pressures.
Permanent magnets are not like magnetic materials. They have hard inflexible structures. Their electron structures have been pre-aligned by high magnetic fields in their manufacturing process. They consequently exchange linear photons that have a permanent directional flow. Only softening by heat is likely to destroy their magnetism.
We describe permanent magnets as having a north and a south pole but in reality there are north and south poles throughout the magnet because they are particle related. We can cut a magnet many times across its length to make many magnets.
The unlike poles of magnets attract because south poles desire the energies north poles have. When two north energy emitting poles come together their photons conflict and they veer apart. When two energy desiring south poles come close together they veer apart because they each seek photons and there are few photon energies between them.
If you still need convincing that photon energies have energy interactions like particles let us look at what happens when we have an electrical flow in a magnetic field. Photon energy conflicts are the principle behind all electrical machines.
In the diagram the electrical wire flow into the page is producing a circulating photon magnetic field and the permanent magnets are producing linear photon flows. The photon conflicts on the left encourage the magnetic field photons to circle with them and flow on the right.
The photons on the right of the wire are now compressed and want more space so they energy interact with other photons to get that space and that is what causes the force on the wire and its motion.
Next time you have a magnet to play with try the following. Suspend the magnet on a piece of card between say two beakers. Invert say a cup,egg cup or plastic container and position it beneath the magnet and try balancing two 5p coins on top of one another. You may have to put packing under the beakers or cup to get it right but you will succeed and if you now blow at the coins through a straw they will spin one on top of the other.
Another bit of fun you can have is because the royal mint started making copper coated steel pennies in 1992. Unlike earlier pennies they respond to magnets. Give your friend a non magnetic penny and invite him/her to move it using a magnet under a table like you have done with a magnetic penny. Tell them they can’t be holding the magnet right.