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Mapping of Magnetic Lines of Force

  • A pictorial representation that gives the direction of the magnetic field at various points in a magnetic field is called a map of the magnetic field
  • Let us now map the magnetic field by using a compass
  • Fix a sheet of paper on a drawing board
  • Place a bar magnet on the sheet of paper
  • Trace the boundary NS of the bar magnet
  • Place a compass at the North Pole
  • The magnetic needle comes to rest in a particular direction
  • Mark the ends of the needle. The tail end of the needle is the south pole and the tip of the needle is the north pole
  • Now move the magnetic needle in such a way that its tail (south pole) always points towards the north pole of the bar magnet
  • Mark the new position of its north pole
  • Repeat this until you reach the other end of the magnet


  • Join the points
  • These points form a curve
  • The curved line represents a magnetic field line or magnetic line of force
  • Repeat the above procedure and draw as many lines as you can
  • magnetic field around a bar magnet

Properties of Magnetic Lines of Force

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Lines of force are closed and continuous curves

  • Outside the magnet the lines of force are directed from the south pole towards the south pole of the magnet

  • But within the magnet the magnetic lines are directed from the south pole towards the north pole

  • Lines of force repel each other

  • Lines of force never intersect

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