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I have read at certain place electricity and magnetism are the same thing, bit in reality we see both have different properties.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi Sohaib. At the moment your question is too broad to be usefully answered. Can you make it more precise? For example can you pick a particular example of the difference between the two that is puzzling you. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie May 18 '15 at 11:21
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    $\begingroup$ They are not the same thing, but two inseparable aspects of one thing. Other than that, John Rennie is right. It takes a textbook's worth of material to talk about the details. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne May 18 '15 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie What is to broad that could not be explained? I gave an answer and I'm interested, is the answer only a small part of the full aspect? $\endgroup$ – HolgerFiedler May 19 '15 at 4:51
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Magnetic and electric fields can transform into each other under Lorentz transformations. One mans magnetic field can become other mans electric field. Like space-time coordinates transform under Lorentz transformations, so do the EM fields.

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  • $\begingroup$ the second after one man's "magnetic" should be "electric" $\endgroup$ – anna v May 18 '15 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ Lol..of course... $\endgroup$ – Žarko Tomičić May 18 '15 at 19:14
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They're not quite the same thing, but are very closely related (as described by Maxwell's equations).

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The support of both fields are particles with electric charge and magnetic dipole moment, such like electron and proton. Also there is the neutron with magnetic dipole moment, but without electric charge. By the help of an external magnetic field one could align neutrons and this magnetic field will exist without electric field.

Both, the electron's electric field and magnetic dipole moment are existing permanently. To reinforce the electric field we have to separate electrons. To reinforce the magnetic field we have to align the electron's magnetic dipole moments. This we can do in two ways.

First we use a permanent or an electromagnet and align the electrons magnetic dipole moment. Second we move electrons and accelerate them non parallel to the movement direction like in a coil. This induces a magnetic field. How does this works?

The cause why we could use generators, electric drives and electromagnets is based on the connection between the magnetic dipole moment and the intrinsic spin. Both phenomena have a direction and the relation between this two directions is for all electrons equal. If this would be not made so in nature, we would not get macroscopic magnetic fields.

Magnetism and electricity are not the same thing in the sense that the magnetic field (for example the magnetic field of a coil) does not attract an electric charge nor a electric charged body will attract a magnet (if neglect polarisation effects).

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  • $\begingroup$ The magnetic field of a coil is not due to the spin of the electrons. A current of spinless ions also creates a magnetic field. Actually modern generators are often not using permanent magnets to create the magnetic fields (but rather electromagnets). Asynchronous three-phase electric motors use no permanent magnets (which are indeed based on parallel alignment of spin magnetic moments) either. $\endgroup$ – Sebastian Riese Oct 12 '15 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ @SebastianRiese Please give a source about experiments with spineless ions and created magnetic field. $\endgroup$ – HolgerFiedler Oct 12 '15 at 20:03
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    $\begingroup$ I do not know about experiments, but it is pretty clear from a special relativity point of view (this way the magnetic field of a current carrying wire can be deduced from Coulomb forces, no reference is made to the spin/magnetic dipole moment of the charge carriers). So if you doubt this, you refute special relativity. $\endgroup$ – Sebastian Riese Oct 13 '15 at 0:17

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