Forces on Massive Parallel Wires Carrying Equal Currents

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This Demonstration shows the interaction between two infinite parallel wires that carry equal currents in opposite directions. The wires, shown in yellow cross section, have a linear mass density of kg/m and are suspended from a support by massless strings of length separated by an angle . The wires are thereby acted upon by magnetic and gravitational forces, as well as the tension of the strings.

Contributed by: Ozzy Loachamín (May 2021)
(Physics Laboratory of Escuela Politécnica Nacional)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



This Demonstration is based on an exercise from [1].

Snapshot 1: two wires with the conditions of [1, Exercise 28.63]

Snapshot 2: two wires with the conditions as shown

Snapshot 3: the two wires with the conditions as shown, omitting the force vectors


[1] H. D. Young, R. A. Freedman and A. L. Ford, Sears and Zemansky's University Physics: With Modern Physics, 12th ed., San Francisco: Pearson Addison Wesley, 2008.

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