The laws of electromagnetism, discovered over a century ago are fundamental to understanding how plasma and currents behave. Natural phenomena first formulated into mathematical laws by Ampere , Faraday and Maxwell allow us to understand and predict many aspects of the plasma focus device, including the way the current and magnetic field interact to force the current filaments to move along the anode and flow together into the pinch. The basic way currents pinch together, the main mechanism to concentrate energy in the Plasma Focus device was discovered by Ampere.  Watch the the video about Ampere’s law to find out more details. Here is an explanation of Maxwell’s laws.


A Century of Electromagnetic  Discovery


 1751 Franklin—iron needles magnetized by an electric discharge

1781 Coulomb—1/r2 law of electric force

Force between charges is proportional to product of the charges divided by square of the distance between them

F = q1q2/r2

1789 Aepinus—capacitor

1791 Galvani—electric current from frog

1800 Volta—battery

1820 Oersted—magnet causes current-carrying wire to move in a circle

1820 Biot Savart and

1821—Ampere—Currents attract—pinch!

Force between two current carrying wires proportional to length, product of currents, divided by distance between them


1824—Sturgeon invention of electromagnet—circular current -magnet

1825—Ampere current creates a circular magnetic force


1831—Faraday changing electric current creates magnetic field, changing magnetic field produces current—still perpendicular force—magnetic lines of force—Joseph Henry

1833—Gauss, Morse—telegraph

Faradays’ law—the rate of change of magnetic field proportional to perpendicular electric field

1846—Faraday speculates vibrations of E field could be radiation

1830’2-1860’s development of electric dynamos and motors

1861—Maxwell “On physical lines of force”—hydrodynamic analogy—magnetic lines are vortices—(also Helmholtz—1859) centrifugal forces—changing magnetic field generates E, changing E field generates B










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