Lenz's Law

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Lenz's Law is a law which was published in 1833 by Emil Lenz. It determines the direction of the electric current in electromagnetic induction. The law says:

The induced current is always directed such that it always acts contrary to its cause.

It is necessary for there to be conservation of energy. It comes from the fact that the induced current produces a magnetic field in addition to the one that caused the induced current. Faraday's law describes induction mathematically relating the voltage induced, V, to the magnetic flux, ΦB , as:

The minus sign represents Lenz's law, that the induced voltage (and therefore current that might flow) will oppose the flux that is causing it.

See also