I'm self-studying electric and magnetic forces, and I'm stuck on one concept that I can't seem to resolve.
The book I'm using (College Physics Reasoning and Relationships, Giordano) explains a situation between two horizontal parallel wires. If a parallel current is run to the right in each wire, there will be a magnetic field encircling each wire. The top wire (in a diagram of the magnetic field) will have x's below the wire and dots above, but so will the bottom wire.
The book explains that ignoring the magnetic field of the lower wire, the magnetic force on the lower wire will be aimed toward toward the above wire, and vice versa. This makes sense to me if we ignore each magnetic field to see each magnetic force.
My confusion comes in that my initial reaction is that if the magnetic fields in between the two wires would be superimposed the result would be a zero magnetic field. I think I thought of this because the book explains that potential and electric fields could use the principle of superposition to figure out the strength at each point.
Can someone explain why there isn't a superposition of fields, or explain what's wrong with my thinking here?