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A strong magnetic field is applied across a tube and a current is passed through the fluid at right angles to the field, resulting in a force on the fluid parallel to the tube axis as shown. The absence of moving parts makes this attractive for moving a hot, chemically active substance, such as the liquid sodium employed in some nuclear reactors. Experimental artificial hearts are testing with this technique for pumping blood, perhaps circumventing the adverse effects of mechanical pumps. (Cell membranes, however, are affected by the large fields needed in MHD, delaying its practical application in humans.) MHD propulsion for nuclear submarines has been proposed, because it could be considerably quieter than conventional propeller drives. The deterrent value of nuclear submarines is based on their ability to hide and survive a first or second nuclear strike. As we slowly disassemble our nuclear weapons arsenals, the submarine branch will be the last to be decommissioned because of this ability (See [link] .) Existing MHD drives are heavy and inefficient—much development work is needed.

Diagram showing a zoom in to a magnetohydrodynamic propulsion system on a nuclear submarine. Liquid moves through the thruster duct, which is oriented out of the page. Magnetic fields emanate from the coils and pass through a duct. The magnetic flux is oriented up, perpendicular to the duct. Each duct is wrapped in saddle-shaped superconducting coils. An electric current runs to the right, through the liquid and perpendicular to the velocity of the liquid. The electric current flows between a pair of electrodes inside each thruster duct. A repulsive interaction between the magnetic field and electric current drives water through the duct. An illustration of the right hand rule shows the thumb pointing to the right with the electric current. The fingers point up with the magnetic field. The force on the liquid is oriented out of the page, away from the palm.
An MHD propulsion system in a nuclear submarine could produce significantly less turbulence than propellers and allow it to run more silently. The development of a silent drive submarine was dramatized in the book and the film The Hunt for Red October .

Section summary

  • The magnetic force on current-carrying conductors (when current direction and magnetic field direction are perpendicular) is given by
    F = I l B ,
    where I is the current, l is the length of a straight conductor in a uniform magnetic field B , and I B . The force follows RHR-1 with the thumb in the direction of I .

Conceptual questions

Draw a sketch of the situation in [link] showing the direction of electrons carrying the current, and use RHR-1 to verify the direction of the force on the wire.

Verify that the direction of the force in an MHD drive, such as that in [link] , does not depend on the sign of the charges carrying the current across the fluid.

Why would a magnetohydrodynamic drive work better in ocean water than in fresh water? Also, why would superconducting magnets be desirable?

Which is more likely to interfere with compass readings, AC current in your refrigerator or DC current when you start your car? Explain.

Problems&Exercises

What is the direction of the magnetic force on the current in each of the six cases in [link] ? Note that indicates "coming out of the page" and means "going into the page."

Figure a shows the magnetic field B out of the page and the current I downward. Figure b shows B toward the right and I upward. Figure c shows B into the page and I toward the right. Figure d shows B toward the right and I toward the left. Figure e shows B upward and I into the page. Figure f shows B toward the left and I out of the page.

(a) west (left)

(b) into page

(c) north (up)

(d) no force

(e) east (right)

(f) south (down)

What is the direction of a current that experiences the magnetic force shown in each of the three cases in [link] , assuming the current runs perpendicular to B size 12{B} {} ? Note that indicates "coming out of the page" and means "going into the page."

Figure a shows magnetic field B out of the page and force F upward. Figure b shows B toward the right and F upward. Figure c shows B into the page and F toward the left.

What is the direction of the magnetic field that produces the magnetic force shown on the currents in each of the three cases in [link] , assuming B size 12{B} {} is perpendicular to I size 12{I} {} ? Note that means "going into the page."

Figure a show the current I vector pointing upward and the force F vector pointing left. Figure b shows the current vector pointing down and F directed into the page. Figure c shows the current pointing left and force pointing up.

(a) into page

(b) west (left)

(c) out of page

(a) What is the force per meter on a lightning bolt at the equator that carries 20,000 A perpendicular to the Earth’s 3 . 00 × 10 5 -T size 12{3 "." "00" times "10" rSup { size 8{ - 5} } "-T"} {} field? (b) What is the direction of the force if the current is straight up and the Earth’s field direction is due north, parallel to the ground?

(a) A DC power line for a light-rail system carries 1000 A. If Earth’s magnetic field at this location is 5.00 × 10 5 T, what is the maximum possible magnetic force on a 100-m section of this line? (b) Discuss practical concerns this presents, if any.

(a) 5.00 N

(b) This is about a pound of force per 100 m of wire, which is much less than the weight of the wire itself. Therefore, it does not cause any special concerns.

What force is exerted on the water in an MHD drive utilizing a 25.0-cm-diameter tube, if 100-A current is passed across the tube that is perpendicular to a 2.00-T magnetic field? (The relatively small size of this force indicates the need for very large currents and magnetic fields to make practical MHD drives.)

A wire carrying a 30.0-A current passes between the poles of a strong magnet that is perpendicular to its field and experiences a 2.16-N force on the 4.00 cm of wire in the field. What is the average field strength?

1.80 T

Questions & Answers

what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
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LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
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Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
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Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
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Anassong
How can I make nanorobot?
Lily
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
how can I make nanorobot?
Lily
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
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Source:  OpenStax, Concepts of physics. OpenStax CNX. Aug 25, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11738/1.5
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