The relationship between electricity and magnetism is a very close relationship as both forces involve attraction and repulsion between protons and electrons. The interaction between the two forces is termed electromagnetism. When a magnet moves it generates electricity and when that electricity is flowing it creates a magnetic field (Mentzer). Magnets generate forces that both repel and attract different objects depending on their polarity, this makes magnetic forces vital for the future in how objects will interact with one another (Lucas). Electricity is most simply described as “the flow of electric charge” (Blom). This means that electricity is the interactions between atoms and the charge produced from those interactions (Blom). Separately electricity and magnetism are powerful and essential for everyday life; however, when looked at together electricity and magnetism allow for more powerful inventions that will change the future. “Electricity and magnetism are really two different parts of a single force” (Bergman). Both of these components are used to build and run our everyday life and they are essential in how the modern world works. In the future, by combining the forces of magnetism and electricity, as well as increasing their individual uses, the world will look different both technologically and politically.
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Both electricity and magnetism are used to build important aspects of today’s world. Items such as motors, generators, different forms of transportation, any type of technology, how information is stored, etc. are all controlled and formed by electricity and magnetism. Most often electricity and magnetism have been studied separately. However, researcher TU Wien has studied their effects when put together and has learned to use electric fields to control magnetic oscillations in different items (Staff, University). This development has opened doors for how technology can be controlled in the future. For example, curently data is generated by electric signals but then stored through magnetic means. However, with this development in understanding of magnets and electricity together technology can be developed to combine magnetic storage and electric writing (Staff, University). This would create a more streamlined way for data to be written and allow for much more accurate data to be produced when using the electric and magnetic system.
The current rate of fossil fuel consumption is astronomical, as fossil fuels power almost everything we do and use. Consequently, this means that countries who are the most fossil fuel rich obtain a good amount of political power. Today thirty-nine percent of fossil energy comes from crude oil followed by coal (thirty-three percent) and natural gas (twenty-eight percent) (Ritchie, Roser). Unfortunately, fossil fuel use has led to global warming and climate change and the production and extraction of fossil fuels seems to have peaked (Climate Justice) (Ritchie, Roser). An important part of the change we will see in the future with the use of electricity and magnetism is seen in things like an electric generator. The electric generator is functional because of electromagnetic induction, which is the use of magnets to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy (Science of NDT). When mechanical energy moves a wire through a magnetic field an electric current is made and the wire breaks the magnetic lines, creating an electric current (Science of NDT). This conversion of energy takes out the need for other sources of energy such as coal, crude oil, and natural gas. Due to this the future will be greener and less reliant on fossil fuels, meaning that countries will be spending money on things other than foreign oil and the extraction of natural resources. This will also create a power gap from countries who are powerful due to their natural resource wealth and allow countries who are more technologically savvy to fill the gap.
Currently the primary technology used for transportation is the consumption of fossil fuels by transportation vehicles in order to get from point A to point B. However, with new technology there has also been an increase in the use of electric cars and train systems. In the future it is most likely that all modes of transportation will see the use of electric and magnetic technologies in order to decrease dependency of fossil fuels and allow for new heights to be met. For example, recently Japan created a maglev-train that did away with wheels and incorporated the uses of electromagnets to break a world record for the fastest travel time by a train (Lufkin). The train simply used magnetic repulsion between the train and the track’s coils to decrease the friction seen previously with wheels, allowing for the train to move at never before seen speeds (Lufkin). Also in transportation developments for the future, magnets could be added to highways and streets in order to decrease collisions and allow self-driving cars to stay aligned. The magnetic sensors that are being proposed to add to streets would act as a track for the self-driving cars (Lufkin). The magnets would not be interfered with by weather conditions and would allow the self-driving cars to be more receptive to such conditions (Lufkin). The magnets in the road would communicate with sensors in the car and keep the car more aligned with he road it was traveling on (Lufkin). However, inventions like the magnetic sensors in the road would cause an issue for infrastructure; meaning that the future may not see developments like this put into place or if they are used it may only be seen in a very distant future. However, by using magnets for more reasonable developments and new technology that does not depend on radical infrastructure changes, such as the maglev-train, a more sustainable and eco-friendly future would be within reach.
The force of magnetism is also being used in health and medicine and in the future may be the source of life saving technology. Currently under development by Google X is an easily swallowed pill that will detect cancer cells in patients during the early stages. This is accomplished magnetic nanoparticles that are harmless to the human body but able to attach to cancer cells and relay information to a wrist sensor where the magnetic particles would collect (Lufkin). With this magnetic technology doctors would be able to discover cancer cells before current technology, such as an MRI scan, would allow them to diagnose a patient based on visual scans. However, this development by Google X is not the first run at using the power of magnetics to help beat cancer. In South Korea researchers are finding a way to completely destroy cancer cells my using the magnetic field (Lufkin). By using the magnetic field patients do not have to undergo the chemotherapy that, in the end, might harm non-cancerous cells as well as the cancerous ones (Lufkin). Also using magnets to help protect people, is a new development in concussion prevention for football players. Raymond Colello at Virginia Commonwealth University reports that by adding small magnets in players helmets the number of concussions sustained in head on collisions during play would be reduced. The magnets would act as brakes to slow down the amount of force a player’s brain sustained (Lufkin). When players run at each other the magnets would slightly repel each other and therefore, not impact the brain with as much force (Lufkin). The use of magnets for future medical and safety developments opens up a whole ne world of possibility for life saving products.
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Clearly both magnetism and electricity will change our future. From transportation to health and safety to political clout both of these forces have an important role in the future of our world. In the future electricity will help generate more power, more efficiently when combined with a magnet. By using magnets, the future will be sleeker, faster, more eco-friendly and have more lifesaving technology. The power created by both magnets and electricity together will do away with fossil fuel dependency and create transportation equipment that will allow the world to move faster and safer. Since electricity can be produced through magnets, known as electromagnetic induction, the need for outside fuel sources will be obsolete once the use of electric generator technology is standard throughout the world. The future will rely more on technology produced from magnets and electricity and increased development of items reliant on this technology rather than natural resource extraction.
- Bergman, J. (2007, September 25). Electricity and Magnetism. Retrieved from https://www.windows2universe.org/?page=/physical_science/magnetism/sw_e_and_m.html
- Blom, J. What Is Electricity? Retrieved from https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/what-is-electricity/all
- Climate Justice. Retrieved from https://earthrights.org/what-we-do/climatejustice/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8yqpqqc4wIVm__jBx2SOAmCEAAYASAAEgIvzfD_BwE
- Lucas, J. (2015, July 28). What Is Magnetism? | Magnetic Fields & Magnetic Force. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/38059-magnetism.html
- Lufkin, B. (2015, August 19). 6 Ways That Magnets Are About to Change Our Lives. Retrieved from https://gizmodo.com/6-ways-that-magnets-are-about-to-change-our-lives-1722803538
- Mentzer, A. P. (2019, March 02). Relationship Between Electricity & Magnetism. Retrieved from https://sciencing.com/relationship-between-electricity-magnetism-7369988.html
- Ritchie, H., & Roser, M. (2017, October 02). Fossil Fuels. Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/fossil-fuels
- Science of NDT. More on Electricity and Magnetism. Retrieved from https://www.ndeed.org/EducationResources/HighSchool/Magnetism/electricitymagnet2.htm
- Staff, S. X., & University of Technology, V. (2018, January 17). Using electricity to switch magnetism. Retrieved from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-electricity-magnetism.html
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