A long straight wire is oriented perpendicular to the page. You hold an unusual compass near the wire as shown; the compass is unusual because one end is painted purple, and the other end orange. (But you are not sure initially which of these is a north pole.) The arrow on the diagram indicates the direction of geographic north. As your lab partner turns the current in the wire "on" and "off," you observe the purple end of the compass to point in the directions of the arrows shown in the diagrams below.
When the current is on, is it onto the page or out of the page?
The movement of electric charges through a particular area will result in the generation of electrical current. The effect of electromagnetism arises due to the motion of current in conduction, which can be measured by a device ammeter.
Answer and Explanation:
As from the figure, it can be seen that when the current is on, the compass shows deflection toward the wire. That is, it gets moved in the clockwise direction.
Therefore, the direction of the current can be easily determined by applying the right-hand rule accordingly. When the curled fingers are kept such that it is in the clockwise direction so that the thumb will represent the direction of the current.
Thus, after applying the right-hand rule, it can be evaluated that the current is flowing into the page.
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from CLEP Natural Sciences: Study Guide & Test PrepChapter 6 / Lesson 7