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The programme examines how Maxwell, building on Faraday's experiments worked out the symmetrical relationship between electricity and magnetism which predicted the whole range of electromagnetic waves.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: S354, Understanding space and time
Item code: S354; 04
First transmission date: 11-04-1979
Published: 1979
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:34
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Producer: James Burge
Contributor: Alan Cooper
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): 19th century; Cambridge; Electricity; Electromagnetic waves; Faraday; Light link; Magnetism; Maxwell; Mechanics
Footage description: Over portraits of Newton, Faraday and Maxwell, Alan Cooper introduces the programme. Pan over Cambridge to site of Cavendish Laboratory. Alan Cooper, inside the Cavendish Laboratory discusses Maxwell's arrival at Cambridge. He lists some of the eminent physicists who were there at the time. Cooper discusses and re-creates some of Faraday experiments with electricity and magnetism which showed a link between these two forces. Shots of various pieces of experimental apparatus as used by Faraday. Cooper goes on to demonstrate, with the aid of a model coil and magnet, Maxwell's idea that angular momentum, which causes a moving magnet inside a coil to induce an electric current, is carried by fields. Cooper next explains how Maxwell came to realise the symmetrical relationship between electric and magnetic fields. He points out that this realisation of symmetry allowed Maxwell to complete his equations which in generalised form predict the entire range of electromagnetic waves. Cooper, with the aid of an animated diagram explains how the electromagnetic field propagates energy over space. Over film of an Apollo lunar landing craft as seen from the command module in orbit around the moon, the voices of Apollo astronauts and the command centre at Houston are heard. With the aid of a model of an electromagnetic wave, Cooper explains how the speed of propagation of the wave can be calculated. Cooper reworks Faraday's experiment which linked electromagnetism with light. Shot of portrait of Faraday. Cooper sums up the programme. Shots of portraits of Maxwell, Einstein and of Maxwell's house.
Master spool number: 6HT/73073
Production number: FOUS065S
Videofinder number: 2036
Available to public: no