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# Lenz's law

The Russian scientist H.F. Lenz in 1835 discovered a simple law giving the direction of the induced current produced in a circuit. Lenz's law states that the induced current produced in a circuit always flows in such a direction that it opposes the change or cause that produces it.

Lenz’s law

The Russian scientist H.F. Lenz in 1835 discovered a simple law giving the direction of the induced current produced in a circuit. Lenz’s law states that the induced current produced in a circuit always flows in such a direction that it opposes the change or cause that produces it.

If the coil has N number of turns and φ is the magnetic flux linked with each turn of the coil then, the total magnetic flux linked with the coil at any time is Nφ ## Lenz’s law - a consequence of conservation of energy

Copper coils are wound on a cylindrical cardboard and the two ends of the coil are connected to a sensitive galvanometer. A magnet is moved towards the coil (Fig 4.4). The upper face of the coil acquires north polarity. Consequently work has to be done to move the magnet further against the force of repulsion. When we withdraw the magnet away from the coil, its upper face acquires south polarity. Now the workdone is against the force of attraction. When the magnet is moved, the number of magnetic lines of force linking the coil changes, which causes an induced current to flow through the coil. The direction of the induced current, according to Lenz’s law is always to oppose the motion of the magnet. The workdone in moving the magnet is converted into electrical energy. This energy is dissipated as heat energy in the coil. If on the contrary, the direction of the current were to help the motion of the magnet, it would start moving faster increasing the change of magnetic flux linking the coil. This results in the increase of induced current. Hence kinetic energy and electrical energy would be produced without any external work being done, but this is impossible. Therefore, the induced current always flows in such a direction to oppose the cause. Thus it is proved that Lenz’s law is the consequence of conservation of energy.

## Fleming’s right hand rule

The forefinger, the middle finger and the thumb of the right hand are held in the three mutually perpendicular directions. If the forefinger points along the direction of the magnetic field and the thumb is along the direction of motion of the conductor, then the middle finger points in the direction of the induced current. This rule is also called generator rule.

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Physics : Effects of electric current : Higher Secondary(12 Std) : Lenz's law |