Question

Has the speed of propagation of a magnetic force field been measured? If so what is it?

Asked by: Colin Coulton

Answer

The term magnetic force field implies the application of a force on a distant object, say a piece of iron, by a magnetic field.

In order to generate a magnetic field that can be said to propagate, it is necessary to produce a changing field by turning on an electromagnet or removing a magnet from a magnetic shield such as a superconducting box. Changing magnetic fields are also produced around all radio transmitter antennas due to the changing current flowing in them.

When a magnetic field is changing, it is always accompanied by a transverse electric field, i.e., it is an electromagnetic wave. The relationships between changing magnetic and electric fields are summarized in the well-known Maxwell's equations.

Click here for a more detailed mathematical derivation and description.

The speed of electromagnetic waves is certainly known and is defined to be exactly 299,792,458 m/s in vacuum (same as the speed of light).

Answered by: Scott Wilber, President, ComScire - Quantum World Corporation

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Albert Einstein
(1879-1955)