Show individual forces for:     Wire 1 Wire 2 Wire 3 Wire 4

In this simulation, you can explore the force between long straight current-carrying wires. The simulation shows a cross-section through the wires. The current is indicated with a circle, for out of the page, if its current slider is set to a positive value, and with an x, for into the page, if its current slider is set to a negative value. You can drag the wires around the screen to change their positions. If you only want two or three of them, just set the current on one or two of the wires to zero.

You can display (or not) an arrow representing the net force being applied to each wire. You can also use the checkboxes to display the individual forces being applied to each wire by the other wires. This is similar to the simulation that shows the force between charged particles, but the force between charges goes as 1/r^2, while the force between wires goes as 1/r.

Simulation written by Andrew Duffy, and first posted on 2-5-2018.

Creative Commons License
This work by Andrew Duffy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
This simulation can be found in the collection at

The counter has been running on this page since 8-13-2018. The number of people accessing the page since then is: