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4. The Electric Generator

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About this Lecture


In this mini-lecture, we discuss an application of magnetism, the electric generator, and go through a detailed example. In particular, we: (i) consider the diagram of an electric generator; (ii) write the magnetic flux at time t and time t + ∆t, where ∆t is a very small change in time, using trigonometric rules to simplify when needed; (iii) calculate the change in magnetic flux from time t to t + ∆t and use this result to determine the EMF of the electric generator; and (iv) plot the calculated EMF as a function of time, which gives a sinusoidal curve that corresponds to an alternating current like that which we receive in our homes.


In this course, Professor Mohamed Anber (Durham University) explores magnetism. In the first mini-lecture, we discuss the magnetic fields of natural magnets and infinite wires carrying current. In the second mini-lecture we define the magnetic force and explore examples involving the magnetic force of one infinite wire on another. The third mini-lecture introduces magnetic flux in order to understand Faraday’s Law. In the fourth mini-lecture we turn towards an application of magnetism, the electric generator, and work through a calculation that gives us the electromotive force (EMF) of the electric generator. The fifth mini-lecture introduces a useful tool called the right hand rule that allows us to determine the direction of a magnetic field due to a wire carrying current, before introducing the principle of superposition and using these two new concepts in a variety of examples involving two infinite wires carrying current. The sixth and final mini-lecture goes over two demonstrations, the first involving natural magnets, and the second displaying Faraday’s Law.


Mohamed Anber is a Professor of Mathematical and Theoretical Particle Physics at Durham University. At the time of filming his course on magnetism, he was a Professor of Physics at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon in the United States. His research interests involve a broad range of theoretical physics topics, including those in quantum field theory and theoretical cosmology.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Anber, M. (2022, January 12). Magnetism - The Electric Generator [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Anber, Mohamed. "Magnetism – The Electric Generator." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 12 Jan 2022,

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