Science Articles

Electromagnetism And Its Application: Applying Physics To Save Lives…Find Out!

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It has been two years since the British-era bridge over the Savitri river in Mahad Collapsed. According to officials, the collapse of the bridge, which happened at around midnight, killed 41 people. Two state transport buses and several private vehicles were washed away by the river.

To overcome such mishaps from occurring and leading to loss of so many lives, we have described here the working of an electromagnetic bridge.

An electromagnetic bridge is one of a kind as it stops the mayhem caused due to the breaking down of the bridge.

What is an electromagnet?

An electromagnet is a type of magnet in which the magnetic field is produced by an electric current. Electromagnets usually consist of wire wound into a coil. A current through the wire creates a magnetic field which is concentrated in the hole, denoting the center of the coil.

Working principle of electromagnets

There are four fundamental forces in physics, and one of them is called electromagnetism. But when we study physics, we usually learn about electric forces and magnetic forces separately. Why is that?

Well, the two forces seem very different from each other. The equations that represent them are totally different. But it turns out that they’re part of the same electromagnetic force.

When charges, like electrons or protons, are stationary, they produce electric forces or an attractive or repulsive force between charged particles. But when electrons or protons are moving, they produce magnetic forces or an attractive or repulsive force between charged particles due to their motion. Inside a magnet are lots of tiny moving charges, which gives the magnet its magnetic field. This knowledge of how magnetism works is important because it gives us the ability to create electromagnets. Electricity is just a flow of electrons around a circuit, so an electrical wire will produce a magnetic field just like a magnet.

Electromagnets are usually made out of a coil of wire — a wire curled into a series of turns. This strengthens and concentrates the magnetic field more than a single stretch of wire. The wire turns are often coiled around a regular magnet, made of a ferromagnetic material like iron. This makes the electromagnet more powerful.

How does electromagnet prevent accidents on bridge failure?

An electric circuit is fitted through the bridge.

Electromagnets are placed overhead which is connected to a barricade.

In the case of a mishap or bridge breakdown the circuit underlying it breaks and results in the fall of electromagnets which will make the barricade to automatically drop down preventing any more vehicles form speeding ahead. Also, there are special led lights that get activated and on observing these lights the vehicles around get an alert to stop their movement.