Difference WikiPhysics

Difference Between Electricity and Magnetism

Main Difference

The main difference between Electricity and Magnetism is that Electricity is the movement of electric charges or electron, whereas Magnetism is the interaction between these moving charges.

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Electricity vs. Magnetism

Electricity is the movement of electric charges or electrons. On the flip side, magnetism is the by-product of electricity as it is produced as a result of interaction between the moving charges or electrons. So, electricity is the force that is produced due to electric charges. On the other hand, magnetism is the force that is produced when electric charges began to move.

Thus, electricity produces an electric field whereas, magnetism produces a magnetic field. Electricity exists everywhere, where there is the presence of moving or static charges. On the other side, magnetism is present where there is a movement of electric charges.

An electric field may be monopole or dipole due to the presence of positive and negative charges. On the flip side, magnetism is always dipole. It does not have monopoles because here, the magnetic charges are formed in opposite pairs. In the electromagnetic field, the movement of the electric field is perpendicular to the magnetic field. On the other side, the movement of the magnetic field is perpendicular to the electric field.

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Moreover, the force of the electric field is proportional to the electric charge, while the force of the magnetic field is proportional to the speed and charge of the electric charge. The units for electricity are Newton per coulomb or volts per meter. On the other hand, the units for magnetism are Gauss or Tesla.

Both electricity and magnetism have a wide number of uses in our daily life. For example, electricity is used for heating, cooling, lighting, washing, and cooking, etc. It is used in computers, machinery, and many other electronic appliances as well. On the other side, magnetism is used on the doors of freezers and refrigerators, in compass, needles, and to store data on computers, etc.

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Comparison Chart

ElectricityMagnetism
A form of energy generated due to the presence of charged particles, either statically or dynamically, is called electricity.A physical phenomenon produced due to the movement of electric charges that result in attractive and repulsive forces between particles is known as magnetism.
Caused By
Electricity is caused by the movement of electric charges or electrons.Magnetism is caused as a result of interaction between the moving charges or electrons.
Presence
Electricity exists everywhere, where there is the presence of moving or static charges.Magnetism is present where there is the movement of electric charges.
Type of Field
Electricity produces electric fields.Magnetism produces a magnetic field.
Number of Poles
An electric field may be monopole or dipole due to the presence of positive and negative charges.Magnetism is always dipole because here, the magnetic charges are formed in opposite pairs.
Direction of Movement
In the electromagnetic field, the movement of the electric field is perpendicular to the magnetic field.In the electromagnetic field, the movement of the magnetic field is perpendicular to the electric field.
Units
The units for electricity are Newton per coulomb or volts per meter.The units for magnetism are Gauss or Tesla.
Force of Fields
Proportional to the electric charge.Proportional to the speed and charge of the electric charge.
Uses
It is used for heating, cooling, lighting, cooking, in computers, machinery, and many other electronic appliances, etc.It is used on the doors of freezers and refrigerators, in compass, needles, and to store data on computers, etc.

What is Electricity?

Electricity is a form of energy that is generated due to the presence of charged particles either statically, i.e., as an accumulation of charge or dynamically, i.e., in the form of current. Electricity is a modern discovery. In the seventeenth century, people began to understand the source of electricity, and actually, the first person who used the word electricity was William Gilbert. Since then, we are using it every day.

So, electricity is an invisible force that is produced by electric charges. The source of the electric charge may be an elementary particle, an electron, a proton, an ion, or any larger body that is with imbalance positive and negative charges. Positive and negative charges, i.e., opposite charges attract each other while, like or similar charges repel each other, i.e., electrons repel other electrons, and protons repel other protons.

For our practical purposes, there are only two forms of charged particles, i.e., electrons and protons. Protons take charge of +1 in atomic units. On the other side, electrons have a charge of -1. There are lots of other charged particles as well, but they all are unstable and disintegrate shorter than a billionth of a second. Like momentum and energy, the total charge of this universe is also well-maintained. We can create or destroy a positive charge, but only when we also create or destroy negative charges of an equal amount. So, the sum of all the electric charges in this universe is exactly zero.

The movement of these charges, with the help of any metallic substance, produces electricity. The existence of electricity can be identified in different ways, e.g., lightning, etc. An electrical or force field may be monopole or dipole. It has monopole due to the presence of positive and negative charges.

In the electromagnetic field, the movement of the electric field is perpendicular to the magnetic field. Moreover, the force of the electric field is proportional to the electric charge. The units for electricity are Newton per coulomb or volts per meter. Electricity has a wide number of uses in our daily life. For example, It is used for heating, cooling, lighting, washing, and cooking, etc. It is used in computers, machinery, and many other electronic appliances as well.

What is Magnetism?

Magnetism is a physical phenomenon that produced due to the movement of electric charges that result in attractive and repulsive forces between particles. It is a by-product of electricity that is produced as a result of the movement of charged particles. The ability of a magnet to attract ferrous items from a distance has a large number of uses.

Material or objects that may stick to magnets are known as magnetic. The property that makes magnets stick to many other magnets or metals is known as magnetism. However, the magnetism does not work on every metal. For example, copper and aluminum do not stick with magnets because they are not magnetic in nature.

Magnetism causes a magnetic field, which is a dipole field because it is formed by two loops. Magnets generate a south pole and a north pole, so that is why the magnetic field coils from one pole towards another. To reveal the shape of the field, immerse a magnet within a heavy fluid, which consists of iron filings. Shake the container very well. The shape of the field can be revealed through iron filings in the containers that will arrange themselves according to the magnetic field. A common example of magnetism is a compass needle’s reaction according to the magnetic field of the earth.

In the electromagnetic field, the movement of the magnetic field is perpendicular to the electric field. Moreover, the force of the magnetic field is proportional to the speed and charge of the electric charge. The key SI units for magnetism are the tesla (T) for magnetic flux density, ampere per meter (A/m) for magnetic field strength, weber (Wb) for magnetic flux, and henry (H) for inductance. It also has a lot of uses in our daily life. It is used on the doors of freezers and refrigerators, in compass, needles, and to store data on computers, etc.

Key Differences

  1. A form of energy generated due to the presence of charged particles either statically or dynamically is called electricity whereas, a physical phenomenon produced due to the movement of electric charges that results in attractive and repulsive forces between particles is known as magnetism.
  2. Electricity is caused due to the movement of electric charges or electrons; on the other hand, magnetism is caused as a result of interaction between the moving charges or electrons.
  3. Electricity causes an electric field. Conversely, magnetism causes the magnetic field.
  4. Electricity exists everywhere, where there is the presence of moving or static charges. On the flip side, magnetism is present where there is the movement of electric charges.
  5. An electric field may be monopole or dipole due to the presence of positive and negative charges. On the other side, magnetism is always dipole. It does not have monopoles because here, the magnetic charges are formed in opposite pairs.
  6. In the electromagnetic field, the movement of the electric field is perpendicular to the magnetic field, while, in the electromagnetic field, the movement of the magnetic field is perpendicular to the electric field.
  7. The units for electricity are Newton per coulomb or volts per meter. On the other hand, the units for magnetism are Gauss or Tesla.
  8. The force of the electric field is proportional to the electric charge, whereas the force of the magnetic field is proportional to the speed and charge of the electric charge.
  9. The electricity is used for heating, cooling, lighting, cooking, in computers, machinery, and many other electronic appliances, etc. On the flip side, the magnetism is used on the doors of freezers and refrigerators, in compass, needles, and to store data on computers, etc.

Conclusion

The above discussion summarizes that both electricity and magnetism are invisible forces that are interrelated to each other. Electricity is the form of energy that is generated due to the electric charges. On the other side, magnetism is produced as the by-product of electricity due to the motion of electric charges.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss