Electromagnetism Introduction

Electricity and magnetism seem like two different forces, but as we’ve learned, electrical and magnetic forces are actually different parts of the same electromagnetic force. Everything we’ve studied before still applies in this exciting unit, except that we’ll be dealing with three-dimensional objects now because we’re awesome like that.

Time to amp it up in style…we’ll revisit Coulomb’s law, electric fields, electric potential, magnetism, and we’ll even wander into the curling and diverging world of James Clerk Maxwell himself, who saw his theories as his guns1.

Along the way, we’ll confront Darth Vader, calculate electric and magnetic fields of complex objects (we’re guaranteed to feel very smart after all this), oscillate through capacitors and inductors, and discover exactly why electricity and magnetism, are, well, meant to be married for life.


Electromagnetism Resources


Thinking as the Greatest Mind Ever
Watch a historical documentary on the man whose last name designates the unit of a magnetic field.

Discovering 100 Discoveries
Watch how the top 100 discoveries of physics shaped our world….this movie will keep you mesmerized from beginning to end.

The Striking Life of a Lightning Bolt
How does a lightning bolt form? Now’s the time to find out how, why, where, when and what these monsters of electricity strike.

Games and Tools

Oscillate with Electromagnetic Waves
Tour the spectrum with this PBS summary of what constitutes the electromagnetic spectrum.

Magnetize It
Check out the most unusual and original magnets in the world…it’ll make you wanna re-decorate the entire fridge.

Electrically Victorious
How well do you understand the laws of electricity? Fight through a maze of electrical traps and show off what you’ve learned in this module.

Magnetically Victorious
How well do you understand the laws of magnetism? Test out your magnetic abilities by catching falling, repelling and attracting magnets.


On the Electrodynamics of (Miraculously) Moving Bodies
Read Einstein’s original paper on special relativity and electrodynamics, deemed miraculous in 1905.

Flipping the Flippin’ Magnetic Field
Flip through an article in Astronomy that describes the processes of how the Earth’s magnetic field flips, and the consequences of its flipping.

Flare up your Knowledge of Solar Flares
Peruse an article from SPIE about why our magnificent star sometimes chooses to act like a death star.

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