Earth’s Magnetic Field : An Important Discovery

If you look at the bar magnet that is tilted 11 degrees from the spinning axis of the earth, you get a fair idea of what earth’s magnetic field is all about. When somebody utters the term magnet, the picture of a solid material capable of attracting iron or nickel appears in the mind. This picture is in total contrast with the conditions prevailing in the inner core of the earth which is all molten and full of metallic lava.

Magnetic Field of the Earth:

The earth magnetic field is in agreement with the theory that magnetic field develops from the stream of electric currents arranged in a spiral or coiled fashion. The molten metal at the core of the earth is able to develop electric current loops



that are similar to what are responsible for the development of magnetic field. Statistics show that earth magnetic field measures around half a Gauss and the northern hemisphere seems to be more affected with it.

Earth’s magnetic field is the result of the dynamo effect that can be made functional due to the inner core conditions. The layers of metallic fluid are sure to interact with each other and this interaction leads to friction which generates energy in the form of electrical loops. These circular electric loops provide the plausible condition for the development of magnetic field which earth seems to possess miraculously.

That is why; earth is seen as a big dipolar magnet. Every magnet has two opposite poles, similarly the earth is said to be composed of two poles North Pole and South Pole and the magnetic effect around these poles is felt stronger than the remaining portions of the earth. The electric field generates because of the rotational motion of the coil in a dynamo or generator, similarly, earth’s rotational speed of completing one cycle in 243 days is speedy enough to replicate the required dynamo effect.

When compared to planets having similar rotational period, it is found that only earth is able to sustain the speed that qualifies for the production of electrical loops. This explains the unique feature of magnetism of the earth that is unique and exclusive to it.

The earth’s magnetic field is very much useful for navigation purpose. The compass needle tilts according to the presence of the magnetic field thus helping the sailors to locate the direction correctly while at sea.

Another importance of earth’s magnetic field is the fact that the earth is able to protect itself from the destructive rays and particles emanating from the Sun. The magnetic field of the sun is actually a protective shield that repels all the harmful chemicals from the sun that famously constitute solar wind.

If the magnetic field were not present, the earth would not have been able to maintain the ozone layer which effectively screens away the ultraviolet rays. This makes the earth stand out among the hoard of planets like Mars that do not have any such protective shield like ozone around it. This magnificent concept saw the light of the day in 1935 due to the efforts of C. F. Gaus, a scientist par excellence.

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