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Thread: Why is a electric field induced by a varying magnetic field, non-conservative?

  1. #1 Why is a electric field induced by a varying magnetic field, non-conservative? 
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    Why is it that an electric field produced by static charges conservative?
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  2. #2  
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    With static charges the electric field can be described as the gradient of a scalar. It is therefore irrotational. The work done in moving a charge through the field is independent of the path taken as the field lines are straight lines. Only the component parallel to the field counts. With a changing magnetic field however the electric field is rotational (curl E = -dB/dt) so the field produced cannot be described by a scalar. The field lines go round so there is not a unique potential associated with each position.
    pikpobedy and Maria like this.
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