Electricity vs Magnetism: Difference and Comparison

Physics is the study of all natural things, from light, electricity, and particles to the study of black holes and dark matter in space, from how magnets attract each other to how the earth revolves and rotates around the sun.

Magnetism and electricity are some of the most advanced and easy studies in physics.

Major physics concepts revolve around magnetism and electricity, these terms are often used together, and they both are related that gave rise to electromagnetism. Still,

there is a vast difference, and both possess different characteristics.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Electricity involves the flow of electrons through a conductor, while magnetism is the force that causes certain materials to attract or repel each other.
  2. Electricity can produce magnetic fields, while magnets can create electric fields.
  3. Electricity is a form of energy, while magnetism is a property of certain materials.

Electricity vs. Magnetism

Electricity is a form of energy that results from the movement of charged particles, such as electrons or ions. Magnetism is a phenomenon that arises from the movement of electric charges. The force causes certain materials, such as iron, to attract or repel each other.

Electricity vs Magnetism

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonElectricityMagnetism
MeaningWhen free electrons move together in a required direction, electricity is generated.Its formation depends upon the construction of electricity that leads to forming of a magnetic field.
Presence of MonopolesMonopoles exist in the case of electricity with either a positive or a negative charge.Monopoles do not exist in the magnet as it is the opposite charges that get attracted.
FormationIt is formed due to the presence of static charges or free-moving electrons.The magnetic field is generated whenever there are free moving charges that are the electricity; magnetism cannot exist without electricity.
Presence of DipolesDipoles do not exist in electricity; they only have positive or negative charges.Dipoles exist in the magnetism as North and South poles and never exist independently.
UsesIt is used and found everywhere, from Ac to heaters and electric equipment.It is found in computer parts such as floppy disks to store data.

What is Electricity?

Electricity is a phenomenon that Benjamin Franklin first described in the 18th century. It is defined as the flow of electrical charges, an invisible force.

Electricity today is used for many purposes, from keeping televisions and home lit to controlling the water flow in the dams that helps to supply water.

Electricity has two aspects: conductors and insulators, conductors or other substances through which electricity can be passed quickly; for example, every kind of metal, even the human body, is a great conductor of electricity; insulators are those objects that do not allow electricity to pass through them.

For example, rubber and plastic electricity force is also called the monopoles due to only a positive or negative charge in the electricity flow.

There are two kinds of charges static electricity and current electricity. Static electricity is formed by rubbing two objects simultaneously at a very high pace to generate a small amount of electricity.

Static electricity can even be produced with insulators. For example, rubber, current electricity is mainly used in every aspect.

It is defined as the charged particles’ free flow movement, which can only be passed through conductors. There are two types of currents, AC and DC.

AC, also known as the alternating current, is the current that is used in our homes, and direct current is the current that is passed on at a very high speed without any hindrances and is not suitable to use in places like homes and factories.


What is Magnetism?

Magnetism is defined as a phenomenon that is the interaction between two different moving charges in which the poles either attract or repel each other.

The unlike poles always attract each other, which is North and South, and the like poles repel each other, which is North and North or South and South.

 The magnetic field is formed when electricity is passed through an object, creating a magnetic field around it, and items can be magnetized.

The magnetic field is not an invisible force; unlike electricity, it can be checked using a compass or a magnetic needle that shows deflection when placed in a magnetic field.

 A magnet is a dipolar system because of two poles; the magnet is used in many objects, from computer parts to store data to the electromagnet.

An electromagnet is a magnet in which the magnetic field around the object is created using electricity. It consists of a copper coil.

When current is passed through, it acts as a magnet that attracts magnetic pieces towards it; its intensity can be controlled using the current more than the magnetic attraction; if the current is reduced, the magnetic field will reduce.

An electromagnet is used in many modern industries to pick up and drop heavy external objects. William Gilbert was the first person to coin the term magnetism.


Main Differences Between Electricity and Magnetism

  1. Electricity is formed due to free-moving charged particles, an invisible force. In contrast, magnetism is formed due to the attraction between two charged particles, the opposite poles in the magnet attract each other, but the same poles repel each other.
  2. Electricity is a monopolar system that is the existence of one pole in electricity, either positive or negative. In contrast, magnetism is a dipolar system due to the presence of two poles, North and South.
  3. Electricity can be formed even with the presence of a static charge. In contrast, magnetism cannot survive on the fixed energy principle as it needs to have a continuous flow of electricity, which is why it uses the current electricity principle.
  4. Electricity can also exist independently without any magnetic charge. In contrast, the current electricity flow is required to form the magnetic field for creating a continuous path of charges.
Difference Between Electricity and Magnetism
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=x58oAwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=electricity+and+magnetism&ots=RpUPxRgpZc&sig=XmodXrEBR_aw0etmPhb7CJD3wBo

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