Compass Needle in Uniform and Rotating Magnetic Fields

Initializing live version
Download to Desktop

Requires a Wolfram Notebook System

Interact on desktop, mobile and cloud with the free Wolfram Player or other Wolfram Language products.

A compass needle undergoes forced oscillations under the influence of a uniform magnetic field and a rotating magnetic field with angular velocity (black arrow). The compass needle has a moment of inertia , a friction constant , and a magnetic moment ℳ. This is a simple example of a system that shows chaotic motion. In a real experiment it is impossible to repeat a particular motion from initial conditions and because the system is chaotic.

Contributed by: Enrique Zeleny (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



The differential equation to solve is .

Feedback (field required)
Email (field required) Name
Occupation Organization
Note: Your message & contact information may be shared with the author of any specific Demonstration for which you give feedback.