J. C. Maxwell’s, ‘Dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field’

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                                of the current due to induction, is sometimes called the 
counter current. 

(36) If an additional resistance v is suddenly thrown into 
the circuit, as by breaking contact, so as to force the current to 
pass through a thin wire of resistance v, then the original 
current is u =[xi]/R and the final current is b = [xi]/R + v. 
The current of induction is then [half][xi] 2R + v / R(R + v) and continues for a time 2 L / R + v. This current is greater than that which the battery 
can maintain in the two wires R and r and may be sufficient 
to ignite the thin wire v. 

When contact is broken by separating the <s>parts<\s> wires in air 
this additional resistance is given by the interposed air and 
since the electromotive force across the new resistance may be 
estimated equal to [half][xi} v / R a spark will be force across 

If the elctromotive force is of th form E sin pt as in the 
case of a coil revolving in a magnetic field then 

x = E/[rho] sin (pt - [alpha]) 

where [rho]<sup>2<\sup> = R<sup>2<\sup> + L<sup>2<\sup>p<sup>2<\sup> and tan [alpha] = L p/R 

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Manuscript details

James Clerk Maxwell
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Cite as

J. C. Maxwell’s, ‘Dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field’, 1864. From The Royal Society, PT/72/7



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