Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What is the force between two perpendicular wire carrying current, one to the north and one to the east?

share|cite|improve this question

closed as too localized by Waffle's Crazy Peanut, Manishearth Apr 16 '13 at 6:12

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

What were you thinking? – user12345 Mar 14 '13 at 9:38
duplicate:… – Michael Brown Mar 14 '13 at 12:50
Please see our homework policy. We expect homework type problems to have some effort put into them, and deal with conceptual issues. If you edit your question to explain (1) What you have tried, (2) the concept you have trouble with, and (3) your level of understanding, I'll be happy to reopen this. (Flag this message for ♦ attention with a custom message, or reply to me in the comments with @Manishearth to notify me) – Manishearth Apr 16 '13 at 6:12
@MichaelBrown: Next time, vote to close as a duplicate (use the close menu) if you think it is one :) – Manishearth Apr 16 '13 at 6:12


  1. The magnetic field due to a current-carrying wire circulates around the wire, in other words, the magnetic field vectors point tangent to circles whose planes are perpendicular to the wire and whose centers are intersected by the wire.

  2. The magnetic force experienced by a moving charge $q$ (like those in line currents) with a velocity $\mathbf v$ in a field $\mathbf B$ is given by $$ \mathbf F = q\mathbf v\times\mathbf B $$

share|cite|improve this answer

If the wires were parallel, the force per unit length of wire is given by $F =\frac{\mu_0I_1I_2}{2\pi r}$. In the case that both wires have the same magnitude of current, but in opposite directions, the equation becomes: $F =\frac{\mu_0I^2}{2\pi r}$ and the force causes the wires to repel.

If the wires are perpendicular however, the force between them is 0.

share|cite|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.