Dictionary of Electrical Engineering

Commonly used terms in the Electrical industry.


See magnetic levitation
any object that can sustain an external magnetic field.
magnetic actuator
any device using a magnetic field to apply a force.
magnetic bearing
a component of a machine that uses magnetic force to provide non-contact support for another component moving relative to it.
magnetic bias
a constant magnetic field on which is superimposed a variable, often sinusoidal, perturbation magnetic field in devices like magnetic bearings.
magnetic brake
any device using a magnetic field to retard motion.
magnetic charge density
a fictitious source of the electromagnetic field that quantifies the average number of discrete magnetic charges (also fictitious) per unit volume. The magnetic charge density is often introduced in problems where duality and equivalence concepts are employed.
magnetic circuit
the possible flux paths within a system consisting of a source of flux (electromagnets, permanent magnets), permeable flux carrying materials (steel, nickel) and non-flux carrying materials (aluminum, air).
magnetic clamp
a device employing a magnetic field to deliver a clamping action.
magnetic current density
a fictitious source vector in electromagnetics that quantifies the amount of magnetic charge (also fictitious) crossing some cross-sectional area per unit time. The magnetic current density is often introduced in problems where duality and equivalence concepts are employed. The direction of the magnetic current density is in the direction of magnetic charge motion. SI units are volts per square meter.
magnetic damper
any device using a magnetic field to damp motion.
magnetic dipole
an arrangement of one or more magnets to form a magnet system that produces a magnetic field with one pair of opposite poles.
magnetic drive

See magnetic torque coupling
magnetic field
magnetic force field where lines of magnetism exist.
magnetic field intensity
a force field that is a measure of the magnitude and direction of the force imparted upon an elemental current normalized to the elemental current's value. Depends on material characteristics. The units are amperes per meter.
magnetic flux
the integral of the component of magnetic flux density perpendicular to a surface, over the given surface.
magnetic flux density
a vector quantifying a magnetic field, so that a particle carrying unit charge experiences unit force when traveling with unit velocity in a direction perpendicular to the magnetic field characterized by unit magnetic flux density. It has the units of volt-seconds per square meter in the SI system of units.
magnetic induction
the flux density within a magnetic material when driven by an external applied field or by its self demagnetizing field, which is the vector sum of the applied field and the intrinsic induction.
magnetic leakage

See leakage
magnetic length
the effective distance between the north and south poles within a magnet, which varies from 0.7 (alnico) to 1.0 (Nd-FeB, SmCo, hard ferrite) times the physical length of the magnet.