Examples of electric and magnetic forces are seen every day. Static cling holding a sock to a towel as the clothes come out of the dryer and magnets holding a picture on the refrigerator are familiar examples. Sometimes it is easy to tell which force is responsible for what we see, like having north-south labels on a magnet, or seeing a spark of electricity. Other times it is more difficult. One way to determine which type of force you are observing is to look at the materials that are involved. Remember that only certain metals can be magnetized. Other materials are likely examples of the electric force.

Interactive exercise. Assistance may be required. Below are examples of electric forces and magnetic forces in action. Decide whether each image shows magnetic or electric effects.

At the beginning of this lesson, you were asked to consider the following question: How has the understanding of electrical and magnetic forces impacted society? After learning about the everyday applications of these different types of forces, how would you respond to this question?

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Check Your Answer

The understanding of electric and magnetic forces has impacted society. It has led to a wide array of applications and technology that we use everyday. Close Pop Up