Many students know of electromagnets, but fewer recognise that there is a magnetic effect around any current-carrying wire

Electricity and Magnetism


Resources to Address This

  • The Magnetic Fields Produced by Electric Currents (11-14)

    Source - SPT/ Em02 PN04

    This resource provides some brief physics narrative for the magnetic fields produced by current-carrying wires.

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  • Linking electrical current to magnetism (11-14)

    Source - SPT/ Em02 PN02

    The connection between electric currents and magnetic fields was first demonstrated in 1820 by a Danish scientist named Hans Christian Oersted. 

    Details of the experiment are found at Em02 TA01 - Oersted's experiment

    View Resource
  • Magnetic field due to an electric current in a wire (11-16)

    Source - Practical physics/ Electromagnetism/ Magnetic fields due to currents in a wire/ ...

    Iron filings reveal the pattern of magnetism around a current-carrying wire, and factors that affect it.

    View Resource


The following references have documented this misconception:

  • Maloney, D. P.; O'Kuma, T. L.; Hieggelke, C. J. and Van Heuvelen, A. () Surveying students' conceptual knowledge of electricity and magnetism. American Journal of Physics, 69 (S1),


    Review sheet

  • Karal, I. S.; Alev, N. and Baskan, Z. () Student teachers’ Subject Matter Knowledge (SMK) on electric current and magnetic field. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 2 (2),


    Review sheet

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