2022-07-01 16:23


Conference: Bucharest University Faculty of Physics 2019 Meeting

Section: Physics Education

Examples of using the MathCad program to calculate the electromagnetic force

Adriana RADU(1), Ionel GRIGORE(2), Cristina MIRON(3)

1) “Mihai Viteazul” National College, Ploieşti, Romania

2) “Ion Luca Caragiale” National College, Ploieşti, Romania

3) Faculty of Physics, University of Bucharest, Bucharest-Măgurele, Romania


MathCad, didactic tools, electric current, magnetic field, electromagnetic force, cross product, physics education.

This paper describes two didactic tools developed with the help of the Mathcad program for the calculation of the electromagnetic force acting on a conductor traveled by electric current, placed in a uniform magnetic field. The first tool deals with the case of a rectilinear conductor whereas the second one deals with the case of a conductor in the shape of a circular arc. The direction of the electric current through the conductors as well as their dimensions and orientation in relation to the magnetic field are specified in the input data by means of a Cartesian coordinate system. It shows how the Mathcad vectorial computing facilities can be explored, and in particular the use of the cross product. The orthogonality of the length-conductor vectors, magnetic induction and electromagnetic force are verified and some particular cases of guiding the conductor to the magnetic field are analyzed, each time calculating the electromagnetic force. The paper also highlights the friendly interface of MathCad and its ease of use in solving physics problems. The classroom use of these tools helps students develop their skills of vectorial calculation and mathematical analysis in the study of electromagnetic phenomena. Thus, students can clarify the concept of cross product and can make a first step towards understanding the concept of line integral.